Great grand masters get their own Cape Epic category

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Pro riders might dominate the timesheets, but much of the Cape Epic’s reputation builds on the performance of amateurs.

Compared to a pro athlete, there is a relatability that all mountain bikers feel when following the journey of a Cape Epic finisher with a day job. Recognising the effort and sacrifice of those ultra-weekend warriors, the Cape Epic will be introducing new jersey categories for the 2023 event.

Riders in the 19-39 age group will be eligible for the Cape Epic’s new amateur category. To qualify for its white leader jerseys and title, riders in the Cape Epic amateur category can’t be UCI registered professionals.

Cape Epic jersey winners
All the jersey winners of the 2022 Absa Cape Epic. For next year, the stage will be fuller. (Photo: Nick Muzik/Cape Epic)

Paying respect to the grandest MTB masters 

No riders garner more respect at a Cape Epic, than those near retirement age.

Training for, riding and completing the world’s most challenging stage race is a monumental undertaking for mountain bikers in their sixth decade. Supplementing the 50-years and older grand masters, will be a new great grand masters category for a team where both riders are 60-years or older.

Beyond the overall amateur category and great grand masters, there will be a lot more for women to ride for at the 2023 Cape Epic, too.

The event is introducing age group categories for women, too. This will hopefully incentivise more women to enter as teammates, instead of defaulting to a mixed team effort with men.

"The Cape Epic was among the first MTB events to pay out equal prize money to the women’s category, introduce a separate start group and produce a dedicated women’s racing highlights broadcast show," said Cape Epic event director, Michael Flinn.

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