welcome - Jonathan Meintjes

Welcome to the 


Absa Cape Epic 

Since 2004 the Absa Cape Epic has proudly stood as the mainstay of the South African mountain biking calendar, growing in stature to international fame and the pinnacle of the Epic Series. In 2024 we celebrate the 20th edition and I for one cannot wait to welcome you all to Lourensford, writes the Epic Series’ head of mountain biking in South Africa, Jonathan Meintjes

The Absa Cape Epic is a race like no other. The sheer scale of it induces nerves in even the most accomplished mountain bikers. It is not just the difficulty of the route, or the depth of the competition, but the size of the race village, the media output and the global attention it garners which all add up to create an aura around the event.

As we head into the festive season here in Cape Town there are an increasing number of cyclists on the roads and trails. There’s a buzz in the air and it's great to hear so many people talking about their Absa Cape Epic training. Looking at next year’s route it is no surprise riders are taking the challenge seriously.

It was not our intention to create a particularly testing course specifically for the 20th edition. But in many ways, it is fitting. It will certainly help ensure a memorable edition… As will the first ever transfer, rather than transition stage, from Wellington to Stellenbosch. We have seen in the SPAR Swiss Epic that this can be a great way to provide rewarding riding and we are excited to see how it is received in the Absa Cape Epic.

The race villages for 2024 are also all steeped in history. Lourensford hosted the Grand Finale when I joined the crew, in 2011, so it holds a special place in my memory. Saronsberg, in Tulbagh, was also a host venue in my first year, and is always a great estate to return to; for its beauty and the trails it provides access to. Wellington and Stellenbosch need no introductions to mountain bikers, though there is a nice synchronicity to finishing in Stellenbosch in 2024 as we did in 2004. (Although the keen students of the race will recall that the first edition concluded at Spier, outside the town, rather than in Stellenbosch itself.)

I hope each and every rider and mountain biking fan will allow themselves to be swept up in the excitement as the race nears. It is always our aim to put on a show that runs smoothly across the eight days and 613 kilometres of the race. Behind the scenes a mountain, far higher than the 16 850 metres of accumulated elevation the riders will take on, of work goes into making the race a success. I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every stakeholder, sponsor and service provider who work so tirelessly to ensure the riders and fans can focus on the race. From the land owners to the guys washing bikes after each stage, the Absa Cape Epic is the world’s premier mountain bike stage race because of the unseen toil you put in behind the scenes. Thank you!

Jonathan Meintjes

Head MTB, South Africa