Got a December race goal lined up yet? No, here you go…Traditionally there are a few events in the lead-up to the Absa Cape Epic that riders use as a shakeup to check where the form is at, as well as test equipment and nutrition strategies. One such event that immediately comes to mind is the Attakwas, a brutal 120km tester. In 2017 the Ride2Nowhere from out of the beautiful hamlet of McGregor joined this fold. The Ride2Nowhere Epic Challenge gave riders an opportunity to experience some of what was the first stage of the 2018 Absa Cape Epic.
On Saturday 8 December the ultra-distance race will run again and entries are bound to sell out fast. Brought to you by the same passionate crew who puts on the three-day Ride2Nowhere (and Run2Nowhere) in September, the event offers two route options, the 112km Epic Challenge, with 2650m of climbing and a 68km Mini Epic with some 1550m ascent.
Those who rode the 2018 Epic or who have done the Ride2Nowhere will know the iconic landmarks on the route, climbs with names such as the Takkap, Skid, Bones and Skuilkrans. Essentially the one-day event is a combination of all the best bits from the three-day stage race. If it sounds like a challenge, then it sure is. But, knowing the organisers, that is far from all that this event is about.
“The race is not only aimed at Cape Epic entrants and marathon specialists;” explains race director Eulogy van Dyk. “As with the Ride2Nowhere our aim is to provide ‘real mountain-biking’ for a range of skill and fitness levels,” she says. “And, just good vibes all round.”
“It is proper mountain biking on ungroomed trails, a good combination of climbing, descending and singletrack fun, with magnificent views over the McGregor Valley,” Van Dyk says, adding that, “this is also a perfect opportunity for those who did not have a chance to ride the three-day event in September.”
Most of the routes are not open to the public and traverse mostly privately-owned farm land. The Karoo terrain comprises exposed shale, sand and loose stone. It’s unashamedly rough and tough, but that’s how we like it. Because you just know the scenery will be worth the effort. And, if you don’t have the legs and lungs to go long, you’ll get the same experience on the Mini Epic.
Both routes start and finish at the picturesque McGregor winery which plays host to the event.
Entries for the event are now open. There is an equal price purse for the men’s and women’s champions in the Epic Challenge distance. The event sold out in 2017 and there will only be space for 350 riders in 2018. Head over to www.race2nowhere.co.za for more info.