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Epic Route 2010.


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Ceres... Worcester.... Time-trial in the middle.... Should be interesting...

Some outer-space scenery around Ceres - those mountains are what I'd imagine parts of the moon to look like...


Too lazy to search - where's the link to the route?
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A lot of the Eselfontein Farm where the Ceres MTB Fest takes place is included.  XTC12009-10-28 00:35:05

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No just fast' date=' it was on supercycling last night.




And the official launch was held in Cape Town yesterday afternoon... they've been chatting about it on some of the Radio shows....
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Tuesday, 27 October 2009






dramatic new route of the seventh edition of the Absa Cape Epic

presented by adidas, which takes place from 21 to 28 March next year

(2010), will be as challenging as previous years, with both local and

international mountain biking enthusiasts taking on the demanding eight

day mountain bike race of 722km.


The route, which changes

significantly each year, will lead 1 200 cyclists through vast

distances of new territory, previously untouched by the race. With its

challenging and exhilarating landscapes, the stage locations of

Diemersfontein, Ceres and Worcester awaits the most prestigious

mountain bike stage race in the world, before the race returns to the

well-known orchards and vineyards of Oak Valley and its traditional

finish at the Lourensford Wine Estate.

One of the

most visited tourist attractions in the southern hemisphere, the

Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront, hosts the opening

celebrations and registration for this pioneering, tough and

breathtaking mountain bike race Stage 1 will start in Diemersfontein in

the heart of wine country.


Says Kevin Vermaak, Director and

Founder of the Absa Cape Epic: ?In the pursuit of the ultimate mountain

biking experience, the Absa Cape Epic has selected some of the best

terrain that the Western Cape has to offer. As in 2009, riders will be

staying 2 to 3 nights in each stage location. Our route designer, Leon

Evans or as he is best known amongst riders, Dr Evil, has found the

perfect balance between exciting trails, challenging terrain and wider



Stage 1 - Diemersfontein to Ceres (117km with 2 190m of climbing)


1 will see riders leave the charming Diemersfontein Wine Estate in the

direction of Ceres, the first stage finish of the 2010 Absa Cape Epic.

Riders start in the heart of wine country with some steep climbs,

leading them to forest single track towards Bainskloof Pass. Another

steep climb on dirt tracks takes the race up to the last part on the

tarred pass. The smooth tar descent is well-known for its tight turns

and riders need to stay alert heading down into the windswept

farmlands. Next up is a 5km climb on smooth dirt tracks through

Kluytjieskraal. Over the other side, they will find themselves

surrounded by mountains, with no sign of civilization, followed by some

rocky paths before they traverse the valley. Paying little attention to

the views, riders will be dreading the final sting in the tail ? the

12km long railway line section over iron sleepers and sharp stones.


Stage 2 - Ceres to Ceres (90km with 1 625m of climbing)



3 nights, the race settles in Ceres ? paradise for mountain bikers.

Stage 2 is characterised by singletrack, with riders crossing

farmlands, descending rocky scrub and navigating forest paths. At the

head of the race, riders can expect a fight for position before

Eselfontein ? an area renowned for its abundance of singletrack. The

narrow, steep and rocky climbs will split the race apart and riders off

the pace will need to keep a steady rhythm to minimise the damage. The

tough climbs are fair payment for the sweeping single track descent and

sharp rocks hiding around the treacherous bends. Some more forest

single track offers temporary relief, but in the last 10km, traversing

farm paths and crossing rivers, there?s still plenty of hard work left.



Stage 3 - Ceres to Ceres (115km with 2 280m of climbing)



early farm tracks point off into the distance in the opposite direction

of the major obstacle of the day and perhaps the whole race. This high

mountain and the radical descent will determine Stage 3. It appears in

two parts of which the first follows a wagon trail at a 12% gradient,

built over a hundred years ago and becoming continuously more rugged as

the climb goes on. A short flat section follows allowing for some

recovery, giving them a view of the peak which will soon be referred to

as Mount Evilrest. The surface to the summit is smooth but the

gradients reach 25%, and the air is thin. Riders will use all the

bike-handling skills they have acquired on the descent, negotiating

their way down, through huge boulders and ruts deep enough to swallow

both rider and bike. Some temporary relief awaits them on the flat,

gravel roads before the Gouda Pass descent, with a long way to go back

to Ceres. This could be the epic day of all epic days.


Stage 4 - Ceres to Worcester (86km with 1 640m of climbing)



short climb followed by a smooth downhill run leaving Ceres on the

fourth day means only one thing for the Absa Cape Epic ? riders will

eventually have to go uphill again. The first 35km will be relatively

flat, easy-going farm roads, but then comes a large loop of rustic dual

and singletrack. Even with home in their sights, riders have the rough

2km Boesmanberg climb to scale. This is not the toughest or the longest

stage, but after the combination punches of stages 1, 2 and 3, riders

will be grateful for the short time trial of stage 5 the following day.




Stage 5 - Worcester to Worcester (Time trial; 27km with 860m of climbing)



Stage 5, a 27km time trial through the foothills of Brandwacht takes

the race along the western side of Worcester, through semi-desert

vegetation. Eight hundred and sixty meters of climbing is a great deal

on any day out on a mountain bike, but over only 27km it will be

extremely demanding.


Stage 6 - Worcester to Oak Valley (123km with 2 240m of climbing)


6 will see riders take the road out of Worcester, hugging the shores of

the Brandvlei Dam, followed by some ups and downs. Retracing some of

the 2009 route in reverse, what should be a downhill will still feel

like an uphill. The climbs are short but the gradients reach 26%. In

the distance, riders will head towards the radio mast far away on top

of a hill. A dead-straight chute takes the field down to the canals,

through the orchards, into the singletrack and then over the wall of

the vast Theewaterskloof Dam. Then the race takes a short cut through a

hidden valley to Porcupine Hills before heading into virgin Epic

mountain biking territory, and deep into nature. Riders then reach the

foot of another monument of the Absa Cape Epic - the Cape Nature

Conservation area Groenlandberg. Route designer Leon Evans (Dr Evil)

has found a new way for riders to conquer this beautiful beast. Part 1

follows a steep dirt road, but at the end of it the elusive crest still

lies on the horizon. The second part heads through slow, rugged, washed

away and in parts sandy, lumpy tracks. The gradient may flatten out but

the effort is intensified. Riders are then rewarded with fast and

smooth singletrack in Thandi, and Oak Valley, to finish what is

probably the hardest day in this year?s Absa Cape Epic.



Stage 7 - Oak Valley to Oak Valley (99km with 2 160m of climbing)


short sharp hills early on in Stage 7 will really burn with five

minutes up and 15 seconds down making riders work hard. After the

descent past Houwhoek Inn riders will pass Botriver onto some fast

gravel roads through the farmland. On the main obstacle of the day up

to Lebanon Highlands Plantation, rocks and loose ground force riders to

get off their bikes when it gets steep. Dassenberg has been renamed The

Beeatch because of its sandy surface as well as level of complexity.

Not long in kilometers, this climb will take even the experienced

participants more than half an hour to master. After crossing over to

Houteq, it is singletrack time, heading into Lebanon for some of the

most coveted trails in the Cape. More short, steep climbs stand in the

way of a final stretch of swooping paths taking riders to their final

night on tour.


Final - Stage 8 - Oak Valley to Lourensford (65km with 1 640m of climbing)


is tradition, the last stage is always the shortest, but never easy.

When riders see vineyards, they will know it is all about short, sharp

climbs before some longer and even steeper ones though Nuweberg, up to

see the superb vistas of Elgin/Grabouw. In 2010 the Absa Cape Epic

takes a new route into the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve, on

Buysepad, skirting Gamtoe Pass. There?s no portage this year, but Dr

Evil has something else in mind before riders head down for a

traditional finish to the 2010 Absa Cape Epic.


Says Kevin

Vermaak, Director and Founder of the Absa Cape Epic: ?The Absa Cape

Epic has grown in popularity amongst cyclists around the world and is

increasingly becoming an iconic endurance event well known beyond just

the cycling community. Finishing the Absa Cape Epic is and will always

be an enormous physical and mental challenge, and riders will need as

much dedicated training and preparation to earn the title ?Absa Cape

Epic Finisher?.?


The Absa Cape Epic, the largest full-service

mountain bike stage race in the world, is organised and presented with

the participating riders at the focal point. Their satisfaction,

well-being and enjoyment of the race are the organisers? primary goals.



?We aim to deliver an unparalleled and extraordinary

full-service mountain bike and African travel-experience,? Vermaak



Visit http://www.cape-epic.com for more information.

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3 night in ceres, 2 in woester, 2 in grabouw.




I think its taking away the "woh factor" of the epic.




time trail in the middle? who cares? only the racing teams care, the rest? its going to be a rest day.




It will make the epic more do-able.




In 2006 / 2007 it was 960km, almost 19000 meters climbing,




But now? Double the entry fee, and 25% less Epic.

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Total distance: 886km


ascent: 15045m




Distance: 966km

Total Climbing: 18 529m


2008 was the longest, with most climbing, I think. Can't find 2006 stats.


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ok, my years was screwed up, I think 2006 was also in the 850+ range and 18000+ meters.




I know the first one (2005 I think, was a shorty)popeye2009-10-28 00:56:25

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Don't just look at the distance and altitude, I think the terrain and gradient of the climbs is going to make this a monster. Those considering the time trial to be a rest day, just remember they will be climbing 850 meters in that 27 km loop.

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Have to agree with blockhouse, some of the climbs in the 2009 were looooonnnnnnnnngggggg and the downs were short.


If distance is all you are after look somewhere else. Yes the entry is steep, but all told it is a wonderfull ride that is a must do.


The 2010 should be good as Leon Evans is already on board with the route.
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From what I heard at the Epic this year a lot of people were glad that they did away with the pointless long drags on flat roads. Yes that made some of the days riding a little less in terms of km's, and the overall km's were down. It just meant that you were exerting more energy constantly. I agree that a lot has to do with the terrain, and the gradient of the climbs. It might be a bit shorter, with less tota ascent, but I think it will still be quite Epic.

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It will always be a tough race, but I think it's loosing the Epic part of the Epic..... Soon the race will start and end from the same place for the full 8 days and then the romance of the Epic will be lost.......

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