Introduction 2014

8 days … 718km … 14 850m of climbing … 1 200 riders … This is the Absa Cape Epic and Exxaro is again very proud to be part of this spectacular event.

In August 2011, Exxaro was announced as a headline sponsor and official development academy partner to the Absa Cape Epic. The Exxaro MTB Academy was established to introduce mountain biking to historically disadvantaged communities and individuals. Our mission is to help transform the sport in South Africa by increasing the number of previously disadvantaged riders in events like the Absa Cape Epic and to inspire young people to build a positive future for themselves and their families by providing them with a healthy lifestyle alternative to live out their dreams.

Less than a year after the Exxaro MTB Academy was established, it delivered the first success stories. In 2012, nine teams of previously disadvantaged riders participated in the Absa Cape Epic, and three of those teams finished in the top 100 of the elite men’s category. Azukile Simayile and Siphosenkosi Madolo won the inaugural Exxaro Development Jersey and they went on to ride their first race abroad. They completed the TransAlp race in Europe successfully.

Trophy

This year, the overall winning development team will also walk away with the Exxaro trophy. Exxaro will present a custom-designed trophy created by Lwandiso Njara, protégé of well-known sculptor Angus Taylor.

Prologue 2014

Start: Meerendal Wine Estate
Finish: Meerendal Wine Estate
Distance: 23km
Total climb: 700m

The route
Rolling off the start-ramp, the route took riders through – yes, through – the historic Meerendal Manor House, after which a surprising twist awaited. Riders then faced the challenging singletrack climb up Stirway to Heaven to the top of Dorstberg and its 360-degree views of Table Mountain, Robben Island and Cape Point. The teams dived straight into a rugged renosterveld-lined trail that descended into the quarry and the adjecent Hoogekraal Farm, where sweeping singletrack waited. Well-bermed turns made for a fun roller-coaster descent as the route headed back through steep vineyards, up a steady climb past dairy fields and onto Meerendal, concluding with singletrack and broad smiles on riders’ faces.

     
Team Meerendal Songo Specialized are wearing the Exxaro jersey after the Prologue   Flying the Exxaro flag high ...   Thank you to all the Exxaro MTB Academy sponsors and partners!  
           
     
Prince was welcomed by his team mate Thokozani. Thokozani had to withdraw due to illness.   Phillimon and Jan crossing the finish line. They won the stage today   Sprint finish between Exxaro/PwC 1 and Meerendal Songo Specialized  
           
       
Phillimon and Jan finished 17th overall   2014 Absa Cape Epic finishers' medal