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Mountain Bike Magazine - Autumn 2024

In just 3 weeks’ time, on 17 March 2024, the 20th edition of the Absa Cape Epic kicks off at Lourensford.


20 years of incredibly competitive cross country marathon stage racing has brought every rider worth their salt to the country with the best trails on earth.


Anyone familiar with the sport of mountain biking holds Epic finishers, let alone winners, in incredibly high regard. This is, after all, the most prestigious title to win and one of the toughest races to finish. That’s why many call the 8 days of untamed African trails ‘the Tour de France of mountain biking’. 


From 2004 when Karl Platt and Mannie Heymans led 550 riders out of Knysna onto a 120km stage with over 3000m climbing, the best pro and amateur riders have considered this event the benchmark. 


Over these 20 years South African trail builders have created the most insane network of custom-made trails. Animal and human tracks through our vast, sun-soaked wilderness, over a massive variety of terrain, have proved the ultimate canvas. Our intrepid MTB event organisers, together with farmers, game reserves and plantations, have opened their arms, fences and doors to welcome riders from every corner of the world. This is what’s made South Africa the global headquarters of MTB. 


In celebration of the iconic race and the sport itself we have created a 160+ page, large-format, coffee-table magazine that is on shelf now. 


You'll enjoy superb images and read everything there is to know, including who topped the podium in each category at each race, how long and high each was, which bikes won, who wears which jersey, PLUS the names and years raced by every one of the over 1800 riders who have finished three or more Epics, thereby earning the immensely proud title of Amabubesi!


We have also dived into deep interviews with the best of the best. Get to know Karl Platt, Annika Langvad, Christoph Sauser and Nino Schurter plus a host of other legends. Hear what makes Epic unique to each, which years and stages stand out, what mistakes may have cost them along the way, and why they keep coming back. 


For those riding their first Epic this year, or just wanting to follow the action, we have each stage map and profile plus loads of advice to thrive or just survive the greatest test of mental and physical endurance. Riders with massive experience, like Bart Brentjens who's won the race and gone on to finish no less than 17 times, hattrick chaser Matt Beers, Robyn De Groot, Joel Stransky, John Smit, Candice Lill, Gary Kirsten, Sarah Hill and Erica Green, among many others, share their unique insights to help you. One piece of expert advice could change your fortune..


Be inspired by the brave riders and passionate coaches of the Absa #SheUntamed programme, and see the world with our reviews of the global Epic Series events, where riders like you share their dream fit-cation stories of what it was like to ride bucket-list events in magic locations like Andorra, Switzerland and Croatia.  


Ja, if you're a fan of mountain bike racing, this lekker mag is for you. A souvenir keepsake that won't get lost among the digital clutter.  Just R100 bucks is less than 65c per glossy, colourful page. Get it from Exclusive Books, better local bike shops or a Woolworths near you.


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