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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,
Have had the long goal of racing the cape epic for a few years now and I think 2015 is going to be my year. Has anyone done it? What were your thoughts? What was your training like? How did you go at the event?
Cheers
Jason
 

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I haven't done it but I heard its a bit of a 'roadie' mtb stage race, very fast pace with not a huge amount of technical stuff. I would imagine you would need to do a very high percentage of training on a road bike. Others will be able to help more though I'm sure.
 

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I've been wanting to do this race for years. Just by watching it, it does appear that a lot of this race is on double track and isn't that technical but there seems to be a decent amount of singletrack mixed in, some with technical features. Regardless of how techy it is, the route passes through some absolutely breathtaking scenery. Definitely on the bucket list. Do you need a teammate?;)
 

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I haven't done it but I heard its a bit of a 'roadie' mtb stage race, very fast pace with not a huge amount of technical stuff. I would imagine you would need to do a very high percentage of training on a road bike. Others will be able to help more though I'm sure.
2014 Absa Cape Epic Stage 5 with Specialized Racing - YouTube
From today's stage 5.
Note the comments at 1:28 RE: 'roadie' mtb race.

Definitely on my bucket list, it looks like an incredible experience.
 

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True, I think most of the footage looks like dirt roads and double track. I think the majority of footage is from where they can have easy access, i.e. the dirt roads and doubletracks where they can drive in with video equipment. So the footage is biased towards the tame stuff. I don't know though, I've never done it or known anyone personally who has. I saw the footage where Kevin Evans was cutting part of the course and got a penalty, it looked like a single track procession.

And when they refer to the course designer as Dr. Evil, I doubt it is because he strings together killer gravel roads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Did anyone secure an entry for 2015? Or are you entering the lottery?
I'm in south west london would love to meet up with some people who are hoping to race!

Jason
 

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I did it this year (605-1) and it was amazing. It is a good mix of jeep track and single track and you get to climb every mountain in the area! Don't be fooled by the jeep track - it was often harder to ride it!

Will most probably do it again next year if my partner can get permission from his missus!

Tom
 

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On the training side:
1. Joined the local Virgin Gym last September, and used their computerised spinning bikes, alternating between endurance and cardio for an hour/day. 4.30am starts aren't fun....
2. Would ride either Saturday or Sunday (or both for roughly 2 to 5 hours). Most of the riding was in and around Tokai Forest to the top of Silvermine.
3. Would take one rest day/week, and all of the training was done using a heart monitor.
4. When summer arrived properly, we would ride to work, for those of you who know the Cape, the route was up Constantia Nek - Hout Bay- top of Chappies - Hout Bay - Suikerbossie - Kloof Nek - Town.
5. Riding home we would take the shorter route past the Blockhouse.
6. So yes, we did a lot of road riding, with a good load of hills.
7. Did Tankwa Trek to see where we were with our training and this ride taught me not to screw with your nutrtion during a race. Tankwa is the most unbelieveable ride and if there is another race that must on your bucket list this this it! Temps during this ride got to 44 Celcius over the 3 days. It was hot!!
8. With the endurance sorted, we concentrated a bit more on interval training and getting up hills as fast as we could. I'm not too sure this helped, and we should have possible spent a bit more time walking and pushing our bikes, as some of the route was impossibly steep!
9. Did a few more races before the Epic, the last one The Cape Argus, which is a 109 kay road race a week before the Epic. I would recommend doing this too just for the atmosphere and to annoy roadies when you cycle past them with your full fat tyres on..
10. We went into the Epic with the aim of finishing at the back. We calculated the average time we needed to do each day, with an hour spare for stops and mechanicals. We rode exactly acording to this and also made sure to keep our hearts in Zone 2 for as long as possible.
11. Choice of partner is critical and you have to make sure ride according to the weakest partner. 8 days in the saddle is a long time to have to nurse someone through if you cook them on the first day...
12. Tents are not fun when it is chucking down with rain... all our kit, sleeping bags were soaked. So I'd recommend hiring a campervan. Also get a flu jab - I had a snotty nose from day 3 onwards which spoilt the fun a bit.
13. We finished 515th I think oit of around 620 starting teams. The vibe at the back is phenomenal and we met some amazing characters from around the world.
14. The scenery is amazing. I stupidly did not take my Go Pro, and I was too lazy to stop and take pics with my phone.
15. The Tracker system is great for your friends and family. I don't think anyone in my family or office did a days work during the ride. Stage 5 was very close for us (finished with 13 minutes to spare) and we had everyone sending us messages asking what was happening.
16. We were unaware that extra kays had been added on to Stage 5. When we got to waterpoint 3 and they told us we still had over 20 kays tp ride in and hour and 50 minutes we had to dig deep. So to be safe, add on an extra 5 kays and 200m climbing per day if you're going to approach the ride the way we did.
17. Have fun and don't just say you'll only do one like I did. Getting through the ride is extremely addictive...
18. Choice of kit..... if you plan onnspending almost 58 hoirs on your bike make sure you have very good bibs... my bike is an alu Pyga OneTen 29er. It might be slightly heavier than your average carbon or marathon mtb, but the only issue I had all week was one pucture on Stage 5.

Thst in short is what we did to finish. Feel free to pm me if you have any other questions.

Tom
 
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