Cape Epic rider dies after falling ill during stage 1 of mountain bike race

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Riders setting off on stage 1 of the Cape Epic, at Lourensford. (Photo: DomBarnardt/Cape Epic)
Riders setting off on stage 1 of the Cape Epic, at Lourensford. (Photo: DomBarnardt/Cape Epic)
  • During Monday's first stage of the Cape Epic, a rider fell ill and was airlifted to hospital.
  • Cape Epic organisers have confirmed that the rider subsequently died.
  • Very hot conditions have tested the entire Cape Epic field.

Organisers of the Cape Epic mountain bike stage race in the Western Cape have confirmed that a rider has died.

"We share our greatest sympathies with the family and friends of the rider and will continue to offer them our support as they go through this very difficult time. We thank the medical personnel who provided the rider with continuous medical support and care," read an official statement.

During Monday's first stage of the race, at Lourensford, a rider required critical care and was attended to by the medical team before being airlifted to a nearby hospital for further treatment. The rider later died in hospital.

Organisers have decided not to release any further details at this point out of respect for the rider's family.

Stage 1 saw riders battle scorching conditions exceeding 40 degrees Celsius. Many teams did not complete the stage at Lourensford.

Cape Epic 2022
Riders cooling down at a water table during stage 1 of the Cape Epic. (Photo: Simon Pocock/Cape Epic)
Ride24

Managing risk

During the 2010 Cape Epic, former world solo 24-hour champion and Enduro magazine journalist James Williamson died in his sleep between stages. It was later confirmed that he had a pre-existing heart condition.

The Cape Epic has a long-standing relationship with Mediclinic and prides itself on having world-class medical facilities and personnel in each race village, despite the remoteness of the route in places.

Mediclinic recently introduced participant pre-event screening. The goal is to help reduce the number of adverse medical issues during mass participation and endurance events like the Cape Epic. This questionnaire allows the Mediclinic staff to have a complete medical history of each contestant on hand.

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