The Absa Cape Epic is the most televised mountain bike race in the world and the only eight-day mountain bike stage race classed as hors catégorie by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI); this official UCI status makes it a highlight on the professional racer's calendar. The Absa Cape Epic also attracts aspiring amateur riders wanting to test themselves against the best. It is a full-service race, meaning that everything is taken care of from the start - all riders need to think about is riding.
The race must be completed by both members of a two-person team with only 680 teams allowed to ride the race each year. Every edition follows a different route, leading aspiring amateur and professional mountain bikers from around the world through roughly 700 untamed kilometres of unspoilt scenery and up 16 000m of vertical ascent.
The Absa Cape Epic route team take two years to plan exactly where in South Africa's rugged Western Cape riders will test themselves with a distance of around 700km and 16 000m climbing. The route is a well kept secret until it is announced in September each year. Guaranteed each year are challenging traverses of iconic fynbos valleys, majestic mountains ranges, deep ravines, indigenous forests, spectacular coastlines and flourishing vineyards.