By Lauren vd Vyver
The Absa Cape Epic, the world’s biggest mountain bike stage race, will journey through Cape Town from 21 – 28 March 2009. A 743km stretch of unspoiled nature and climbing over 16 000m will test 1200 cyclists during the challenging week. Considered to be one of the most mentally and physically draining biking events in the world, the Absa Cape Epic possesses different kinds of terrain – from dual and single track to mountain passes. The event is host to legendary cyclists from over 40 countries. Local South African cyclists Kevin Evans and David George grabbed third place in 2008 and hope to clutch an overall win this year. This year, hosts of South Africa’s most celebrated sporting heroes are shaving their legs and tightening their helmets for the epic journey. Former Springboks Breyton Paulse and Marius Hurter, former professional cyclist and 5fm DJ Owen Hannie, as well as Bafana Bafana legend Mark Fish will be cycling for Big Tree and The Jag Foundation. The Jag foundation, established in 2007, is a sports and education foundation that seeks to give youngsters the opportunity of sport education, skills and development. Mark Fish, usually celebrated on the soccer pitch, is excited about the survival aspect of the race, “While I might not be a born cyclist, I’ve always been passionate about sport, whether on the soccer pitch or on a bicycle.” Cyclists have been training hard and taken on smaller cycling events in preparation. No matter how primed and fit the cyclists are, the journey around the Cape Ovenberg will always be a test of the ages.