The 17th annual ABSA Cape Epic, happening on 15 – 22 March 2020, promises to be the most thrilling race yet. Riders will have to navigate their way across the slopes of the Table Mountain National Park, through the exquisite Val de Vie Estate, and hundreds of kilometres of unspoiled scenery.
The 8-day event will require riders to cycle through over 15 000 meters of vertical descent and not only put endurance to the test, but strategic thinking too.
First-time Cape Epic racers and our very own TEAM BODYTEC riders, Jaco And Hugo, share their goals and preparation methods for tackling an event of this magnitude:
More than 8 years ago, at a braai in the UK, the two made a pact that if they ever competed in the Cape Epic race, they would do it together. Jaco said that in the final stages of the 2019 Cape Epic race last year, Hugo called him to say that he was ready to commit to the race so they agreed right there and then that 2020 would be their year to cycle together.
Cycling as a team
“Hugo is extremely driven and maintains a positive attitude. He is the type of guy that you take to war with you because you know that he will have your back. He is a strong climber and I have good technical skills, so we give each other good tips in each category,” Jaco explained.
Team training officially started in April 2019 and both Hugo and Jaco trained on average, 12 – 14 hours per week, sometimes stretching to 20 hours with the goal of ranking a top 100 finish time. “We will have to pace ourselves and not take unnecessary risks. Nutrition and rest during and after the stages will be key. We also plan to have a post-race massage at the end of every day,” Hugo said.
Both echoed that one really gets to know yourself when you make a strict commitment to compete in an event like the Cape Epic. “Cycling doesn’t always strike you as a team discipline but when preparing for a race like this, you need a partner who can support you physically and emotionally,” Hugo added.
Riding for a cause
Another reason for competing is to raise funds for the Khula Development Group, a non-profit focused on encouraging school attendance for local, underprivileged children. Team BODYTEC’s miles 4 minors campaign has already raised over R 50 000 and by donating now, you stand to win R50 000 in Cash!* Click here to donate.
Update June 2020: Due to the Cape Epic being cancelled and the impact of the COVID-19 Lockdown, the prize was changed from a R50 000 travel voucher to R50 000 in cash.
MTB preparation tips from Team BODYTEC:
Assess your gear
- Get to know your gear and training at least 10 months before the race
- When it comes to climbing, the weight of your bike plays a big role in how fast you move
- Full suspension will make your ride more comfortable and help improve speed over technical sections
Boost your performance with strength training
- Do additional strength training off the bike
- EMS whole-body strength training is the most effective and least time-consuming strength training exercise since you only need one 20-minute session a week
- Work on strengthening lower-body muscles such as glutes, quads and hamstrings with weekly EMS training sessions
- BODYTEC training will help to ensure that your muscle contraction and relaxation remains in sync
- Activate 90% of your muscles and reduce upper-body imbalances, induced by leaning when cycling
- Build overall body strength and stamina to lower your risk of injuries
Monitor your diet
- Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet is essential
- Lose as much weight as possible to increase your speed
- Consult a training coach and nutritionist to advise on foods to avoid and what to include in your diet
We wish them both the best for the race and can’t wait to share the results with you! Follow us on social media for more on Team BODYTEC’s Cape Epic results.