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The Absa Cape Epic is known as the most brutal mountain bike stage race in the world. Wild and open, sometimes inhospitable and other times staggeringly beautiful, the Western Cape region of South Africa both tests and surprises all who tackle its ungroomed trails. 1350 riders are challenged mentally, physically and emotionally- and both equipment and spirit are pushed to the limit due to some of the most severe conditions you could find at any mountain bike competition. SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing, the World`s number 1 XC team, managed to be the dominating team at the 2017 Absa Cape Epic and not only to win the most stages, but also to win two overall categories. It`s been eight days packed with drama, pain and glory. Click the stories below and learn what it takes to be successful at the World`s toughest race.


Epic Champions

Stage 7

Six riders, seven winners- SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing swept the podium on the final race day of the 2017 Absa Cape. Nino Schurter and Matthias Stirnemann as well as Jenny Rissveds and Thomas Frischknecht today have won their respective categories, the Men's Elite and the Mixed Category, aboard their SCOTT Spark RC 900 Worldcup. SCOTT-SRAM Young Guns Andri Frischknecht and Michiel van der Heijden secured their second stage win today at the 7th stage from Oak Valley to Val de Vie. One of the most successful weeks in the history of the team came to a glorious end. Check out the images, edit and all the emotions of this great event.

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Steep Climbs & Rocky Trails

Stage 6

The Absa Cape Epic is re-known as the toughest mountain bike race in the world. When stage race veterans of the Epic were asked about the most brutal climb ever in the event's history, their response was unanimous: Groenlandberg. However Olympic and World champion Nino Schurter and Matthias Stirnemann seemed not really impressed by the steep and rocky terrain. SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing's top Elite team at the Absa Cape Epic continued their march towards a first overall title with another glorious stage win at the 2017 event. Check out the riding in one of South Africa's most impressive Mountain bike areas.

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All Set for a Thrilling Final

Stage 5

The 2017 Absa Cape Epic, known as the World's toughest Mountain bike stage race, will see a thrilling finale after Olympic champion Nino Schurter and teammate Matthias Stirnemann of SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing claimed their first stage win on Friday and moved into the first position. "It was not our initial goal to get the Yellow Jersey, but now we have it- and we'll give everything to keep it", Nino Schurter says. In the Mixed category, Jenny Rissveds and Thomas Frischknecht enjoyed a huge victory on the stage and only a major disaster looks able to prevent them from taking that title when the race finishes at Val de Vie on Sunday.

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Triple Victory at Stage 4 for SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing

Stage 4

The Cross Country specialists of SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing have swept today's podiums at the Absa Cape Epic, the World's toughest multiple day mountain bike marathon stage race. Andri Frischknecht, the 2nd youngest ever stage winner in the history of the race, and partner Michiel van der Heijden, have won the 4th stage ahead of team mates Matthias Stirnemann and Olympic Champion Nino Schurter. Jenny Rissveds and Thomas Frischknecht keep dominating the Mixed Category and extended their overall lead. With two stage wins and one 2nd place, the team so far celebrated the most successful day at this year's Absa Cape Epic. 

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Epic Tech Support

Stage 3

Racing the toughest stage race in the world is not only a torture for the riders. It is also an immense logistic challenge for the support teams. Servicing a Pro team like the Olympic Champions’ Team of SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing with six athletes in total, involves intense logistic planning and around-the-clock tech support plan. “Managing the material side of things is a highly demanding task. However, the biggest challenge at the Cape Epic is to keep up the level throughout the week in terms of maintaining the bikes. At such an intense week with extreme conditions you get quite easy in a routine and that`s when mistakes happen”, says Yanick – the Mechanic – Gyger, Head mechanic of SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing.

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re-fuel Day

Stage 2

Extremely high temperatures, winds, drought and demanding singletracks- 1350 riders face brutal conditions every day at the 2017 Absa Cape Epic in South Africa. Competing at the World`s toughest stage race with its 691 km and 15 400m of climbing throughout the week requires strict discipline not only with regards to finding a good individual pace, a good daily regeneration and healthy nutrition is also a must. Check out what our Olympic Champions Team with Jenny Rissveds and Nino Schurter have to say about their experiences and learn more how the shortened stage 2 ended up for SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing.

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Heat, Dust, and Pain - Epic Brutality

Stage 1
After the Prologue the riders transferred to Hermanus, a little coastal town on the southern tip of the African continent, which is well known for whale watching and hiking alongside the beautiful coastal mountain ridge. Cape Epic participants will probably dream of sitting on a boat, waiting for whales and enjoying a cold sea breeze. Unless there is a wind blowing down from the mountains, the heat is just relentless- and riding bikes rather turns into a battle with the elements than enjoying nature. The 1350 riders faced 101 km and 2300m of climbing in brutal heat and severe conditions on stage 1.
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Epic Bikes – The rides of our Pros

Prologue

With the new race season SCOTT-SRAM MTB Racing got to ride their new team bikes, Spark RC 900 Worldcup. What better terrain to test them at the World`s toughest stage race, the legendary Absa Cape Epic. Dusty trails and super-dry conditions will be ridden every single day, and the material has to get through the roughest of all conditions.  Olympic Champions Jenny Rissveds and Nino Schurter are equipped with the SCOTT Spark Spark RC 900 Worldcup.

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The 2017 Absa Cape Epic

The route of this year's Absa Cape Epic will take riders through 691km of South Africa's Western Cape countryside and up a lot of hills: the accumulated vertical gain over the eight days will be 15 400m. The Prologue at Meerendal Wine Estate will offer spectacular singletrack riding. A week later the event will finish near Franschhoek. In between those landmark dates the race village goes to Elandskloof in Greyton for two nights and Oak Valley in Elgin, for three.
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