Absa Cape Epic Stage Race 2021 Announced

Absa Cape Epic Stage Race 2021 Announced

Dutchman Bart Brentjens, 1996 Olympic gold medallist in mountain biking and a former Absa Cape Epic winner, described the event as the “Tour de France of mountain biking.” For 2021 the event is moving entirely indoors, on Zwift!

This event lasts 4 stages, totaling 73.5km/45.7 miles with an elevation again of 789.4m/2,590’ and will be raced solely on mountain bikes.  The race will also include a competition for the GC, with a leaderboard being created using ZwiftPower, keeping in the spirit of racing for the Cape Epic.

The four stages will include a TT on the second stage and span from March 7-14. There will be 3 events per day to serve worldwide timezones.

Stage Details

Race categories for the “Open” race events follow the standard ZwiftPower categorization scheme (A, B, C, and D). There are also women’s only events with their own women’s categories (A, B, C, and D).

Stage 1 p/b Oakley 

  • Dates: March 7/8
  • Course: Whole Lotta Lava, 1 lap
  • Total Distance: 17.2km / 10.7 miles
  • Total Elevation: 160m / 525’

Stage 2  TT p/b Dimension Data

  • Dates: March 9/10
  • Course  Bologna TT, 1 lap
  • Total Distance: 8km / 5  miles
  • Total Elevation: 230m / 755’

Stage 3 p/b ABUS

  • Dates: March 11/12
  • Course: Jungle Circuit Reverse, 2 laps
  • Total Distance: 22km / 13.7 miles 
  • Total Elevation:  164m / 538’

Stage 4 – Race p/b ASSOS

  • Dates: March 13/14
  • Course:  Serpentine 8, 1 lap
  • Total Distance: 26.5km / 16.5 miles
  • Total Elevation: 204.7m / 675’

Signup and event schedule at zwift.com/events/series/2021-absa-cape-epic-stage-race

Event Unlocks and Prizes

Given the scale of this event, there are of course unlocks and prizes!

  • Finish Stage 1 or 2 to unlock the Absa Cape Epic kit (this looks to be the same kit awarded in 2020)
  • Finish Stage 3 or 4 to unlock the Scott Spark Cape Epic custom paint job (this looks to be the same paint job awarded in 2020)
  • Complete all 4 stages and get an invite into the Absa Cape Epic Pro/Am Race on March 17 (details below)
  • Complete all 4 stages to be entered to win an IRL custom painted Scott Spark RC 900 team issue AXS!

Be sure to read the official rules for details.

Absa Cape Epic Exhibition Pro/Am Race

The Cape Epic is the most televised mountain bike race in the world, and in keeping with the tradition, Cape Epic is going to be televising the Absa Cape Epic Exhibition Pro/Am Race hosted on Zwift’s Serpentine 8 course on March 17th  

Want to race the pros? Make sure you complete all 4 stages above so you can take part in the Pro/Am race! This will be a handicapped race, so the amateurs will start before the pro men and women, then try to stay away.

Podcast Rides

In addition, there will be Absa Cape Epic Podcast Rides presented by Payson McElveen on his Adventure Stache Podcast from March 1-6.  

The podcast will be focused around the Cape Epic and the athlete’s experiences of their time at the races, including discussing the race, the racing, team dynamics, kit, preparation, and the competition in general.  

Questions or Comments?

Share below!

About The Author

Eric Schlange

Eric runs Zwift Insider in his spare time when he isn't on the bike or managing various business interests. He lives in Northern California with his beautiful wife, two kids and dog. Follow on Strava

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
32 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mark Crane
Mark Crane (@rdcyclist)
1 month ago

Sounds great! Now they just need to get Zwiftpower’s sh*t together and we’re set, otherwise it’s gonna be a dumpster fire.

Mark Crane
Mark Crane (@rdcyclist)
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Crane

The Serpentine 8 event is going to be great! I’m really looking forward to 800 riders funneling into the wood tunnel and going along the cliff!

Tom Bals
Tom Bals
1 month ago

Thanks for the info Eric! During last year’s cape epic event on zwift, we were also able to unlock a kit and paint job. Have you got any info on whether this year’s kit and paint job are the same as last year’s?

TIMOTHY LOZIER
TIMOTHY LOZIER (@tlozier)
1 month ago

Think you had the wrong link on the article. should be here: https://www.zwift.com/events/series/2021-absa-cape-epic-stage-race

Doug McKee
Doug McKee
1 month ago

Two thoughts:

  1. this event is such a pale shadow of the real event it makes me sad. And I love Zwift racing.
  2. maybe this will get the hosts of the TrainerRoad Ask a Coach podcast to acknowledge that e-racing exists. I love the content over there, but they seem scared to death of Zwift—I’ve listened to 10’a of episodes and never heard them say the word.
John Paul Wright
John Paul Wright
1 month ago

Seems a bit off, from the official rules:
If the Grand Prize winner is a Canadian resident, he/she must answer unaided a time-limited arithmetic skill-testing question as a condition of winning the prize.”

Carl J
Carl J
1 month ago

Except if you’re from Quebec (they’re probably excluded from the contest)
The reason why Canada has that rule, whether dumb or not, I think has to do with the winner having to do something, to actually win.
Like when you open a bag of chips and find that it’s a winner. The fact that it says you won isn’t enough, and so you have to do a “skill testing” question to actually win.

Temps09
Temps09 (@quatre24)
1 month ago

If you do not have the spark MTB in your garage does that mean after doing stage 3 or 4 if the hosts are doing a frame skin you get the bike in the garage free?

Bill K
Bill K
1 month ago
Reply to  Temps09

If it is like last year you get the paint, but you have to buy the bike in the drop shop.

Temps 09
Temps 09
1 month ago
Reply to  Bill K

Thanks, still only use the basic MTB as the it is only good jungle so far. Not good drop spending till after everything other type of frames is upgraded. At some point intend to get a better MTB but waiting on it. Maybe zwift will have more maps for the MTB frames excel on to make them have more value at some point.

Carl J
Carl J
1 month ago
Reply to  Temps 09

There are MTB routes in Zwift, that are not anywhere near the Jungle (or as of recently, not even in Watopia).

There’s only a handful of frames/wheels that you should buy, unless you want to buy everything. And unless you rarely use Zwift, then you’ll earn those drops back fairly quickly.

ROJA
ROJA
1 month ago
Reply to  Bill K

Oh wow – thanks for posting this! I misread this to mean you actually got the BIKE itself! Paint job on an expensive bike doesn’t seem that valuable (especially for the many Zwifters who aren’t Level 17 and so can’t even buy the Spark)!

Tim
Tim
1 month ago

Holy smokes, what an embarrassment – this has to be a joke, right?

Russell Shaw
Russell Shaw
1 month ago

Sounds fun, but is the “3” events per day a typo? Can’t imagine that will serve “worldwide” timezones.

Alain
Alain
1 month ago

I don’t see The Cape Epic in my events in zwift Companion App !?

Marco Zwitaly
1 month ago

Stage one should be only 1 lap, no 2 🙂

Brendon Versfeld
Brendon Versfeld
1 month ago

I cant fathom the thinking here. There is one event available at a reasonable time in South Africa (19:30), and there is a limitation of only 250 per batch! For a worldwide prestige SOUTH AFRICAN event, this is beyond daft. Why on earth arent there more time slots, especially if they are limiting batch sizes.

ROJA
ROJA
1 month ago

How is the Bologna stage a time trial if drafting is allowed?

Ilona
Ilona
1 month ago

I’m just getting in on this at stage 3. Is there a week for make up rides?

Martin Gill
Martin Gill
1 month ago

Does anyone know what time of day the Pro Am race is scheduled for on the 17th please? I’ve had a good Google around but can’t seem to find that anywhere.

David Thompson
David Thompson
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin Gill

Martin, I am really hoping the Pro/Am is real. I dont see the event anywhere and depending on what marketing content you read, some have the Pro/Am as a unlock for the 4 stages and some dont.

Anja J
Anja J
1 month ago
Reply to  David Thompson

I also don’t see the event anywhere. Where do I have to look? I did 4 stages.

Marina
Marina
1 month ago
Reply to  Anja J

Do you have an answear?

Martin Gill
Martin Gill
1 month ago
Reply to  David Thompson

Likewise David – hopefully we will hear something soon.

Marina
Marina
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin Gill

I cant find the Event on the list. Did you find it? I ride All the stages

Mick Mills
Mick Mills
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin Gill

The Pro Am event is on ZwiftPower – https://zwiftpower.com/events.php?zid=1831010

Lots of people on Cape Epic Facebook complaining that they’ve done the 4 stages but not received an invite. Others complaining that completed 4 stages but some stages haven’t been counted.

Is this a Zwift issue or a Cape Epic issue?

Nic Booth
Nic Booth
1 month ago

no mention here or on the “official rules” that zPower racers will be disqualified!!😡

Mick Mills
Mick Mills
1 month ago
Reply to  Nic Booth

Lots of zPower riders in the Pro Am race 😠

32
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x