The Cape Epic MTB Stage Race Returns This Sunday: Who, When, and How to Watch

The epic Cape Epic mountain bike stage race returns to South Africa for the first time in 36 months.
The lead bunch during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2019 Absa Cape Epic Mountain Bike stage race from the University of Stellenbosch Sports Fields in Stellenbosch to Val de Vie Estate in Paarl, South Africa on the 24th March 2019. Photo by Nick Muzik/Cape Epic.

The grueling Cape Epic, the 8-day stage race that takes place in the western Cape of South Africa, finally returns after a Coronavirus hiatus. Riders face a 700km course with 16,000 meters of climbing. This year’s race runs from Saturday, October 17 through Sunday, October 24, 2021 and it’s been 36 months since the last Cape Epic. The weather in Stellenbosch looks to be cold and wet for the short, 20km Prologue this weekend, though things should warm up and dry out by Monday and into Tuesday.

The first stage of the 2021 race is set to be the longest at 98km (about 61 miles) while stage 5 has the most climbing in a single day — 2,900m or about 9,500 feet. All racers must ride in teams of two, and partners must ride together throughout the race.

This year, World Cup and cross-country racers from all over are returning for a race that should be more competitive than ever. Jordan Sarrou and Matthew Beers are partners, as are Alan Hatherly and Simon Andreassen, Christoph Sauser and Alex Malacarne, Sina Frie and Laura Stigger, and Amy McDougal and Jennie Stenerhag.

Even though the event is returning, organizers are still taking precautions. The event won’t have spectators and water points and race villages will be strictly controlled.

Though the event will go on without spectators, viewers from all over the globe can check out the event in live stream format on YouTube at the links below.