Table of the Cape
In 1572 classic Portuguese writer Luis de Camões characterised Table Mountain as the mythological giant, Adamastor. The petrified titan provides the opening 20 kilometres of the 2021 Absa Cape Epic, on the northern slopes of the famous mountain. The riding, on the roads and trails of Table Mountain National Park, is fast and technical at times. Returning riders will be well briefed on what to expect: steep gradients heading both up and downhill, and a flutter of pre-race butterflies. Once you are underway the nervous energy will need to be immediately converted into kinetic.
The Prologue features climbing from the off; through the campus and the UCT XC Track and onto the dual tracks of Table Mountain National Park. The first significant challenge is the Quarry Climb, with its 19% average gradient. After passing through Deer Park and summiting the climb to Dead Man's Tree, the asphalt of Tafelberg Road provides rolling respite before the white-knuckle descent of the day's Land Rover Technical Terrain: Plum Pudding. Rhodes Memorial's singletracks provide the day's final test of skills and reflexes before a sprint across the UCT rugby fields ensures the clock is stopped in the fastest possible time. But know that it was the easiest stage and the real challenge lies ahead in the African hinterland.
Located 16 kilometres into the Prologue, the first section of Land Rover Technical Terrain has a formidable reputation. Some Cape Town riders seek it out for its dusty surface and precipitous gradient. Others avoid it at all costs following the dual tracks downhill rather than risk its final mine-shaft like drop. Absa Cape Epic riders will have no B-line, it is Plum Pudding or humble pie.
The asphalt of Table Mountain Road provides rolling respite before the white-knuckle descent of the day's Land Rover Technical Terrain: Plum Pudding.
Manuel Fumic and Henrique Avancini during the 2019 Absa Cape Epic Prologue
BMT Fairtree's Luyanda Thobigunya & Baphelele Mbobo during the 2019 Absa Cape Epic Prologue
Nino Schurter & Lars Forster navigate Table Mountain National Park's lower trails during the 2019 Absa Cape Epic Prologue
Nadine Rieder & Sabine Spitz climb Table Mountain National Park's slopes in the 2019 Absa Cape Epic Prologue
Riders during the 2019 Absa Cape Epic Prologue
Last Lioness, Hannele Steyn leads Katja Steenkamp during the 2019 Absa Cape Epic Prologue