Cape Epic 2023: route, stages, profiles and favorites

The Absa Cape Epic come back on stage From March 19 to 26, the best bikers in the world will meet in the South African race, considered the Tour de France mountain bike. Below, we analyze the route and the eight stages (a prologue, a time trial and six online) that make up the 2023 edition.


Cape Epic: Race course in 2023.


Cape Epic: Race course in 2023.Absa Cape Epic

The tour will start with a prologue day at Meerendal Wine Estate and end with the classic closing in Val de Vie, the ‘Champs Elysées’ of South Africa. As for numbers, the usual ones presented by the Cape: 648 total km for 15,475 meters of unevenness accumulated positive.


Cape Epic 2023: profile of the prologue stage.


Cape Epic 2023: profile of the prologue stage.Absa Cape Epic

The Cape will start with its classic prologue day. It will be a first contact, nothing decisive for the general, for the runners. The layout offered by the stage, with the exception of an initial part of a steep ascent and descent, is practically flat. The most technical area will be a trialera descent of approximately 2 km.

Stage 1

Cape Epic 2023: profile of the 1st stage.


Cape Epic 2023: profile of the 1st stage.Absa Cape Epic

The first online stage will already be quite a trial by fire, with a difficulty of four stars. The ups and downs, so characteristic of this race, will be constant throughout 98 km. The unevenness, tremendous, since those 2,550 meters make this stage the one with the highest accumulated unevenness of this edition.

Stage 2

Cape Epic 2023: profile of the 2nd stage.


Cape Epic 2023: profile of the 2nd stage.Absa Cape Epic

The second stage will be less steep, but with more demanding climbs. Although the general difficulty will be somewhat less than the previous day, we are talking about the longest stage of this Cape with those 116 km. The descent section called hole in the wall You can remove more than one.

stage 3

Cape Epic 2023: profile of the 3rd stage.


Cape Epic 2023: profile of the 3rd stage.Absa Cape Epic

Technically, we are talking about one of the most difficult stages to overcome in this South African round with those four and a half stars. The last third of the stage will be very hard, with a very constant ascent of about 20 km. In total: 2,300 m of unevenness in 100 km.

stage 4

Cape Epic 2023: profile of the 4th stage.


Cape Epic 2023: profile of the 4th stage.Absa Cape Epic

Day of, very in quotes, transition, as usual in the middle of the race. It will be a time trial in which each pair of runners will take the start in time intervals. The effort could be less than 2 hours, so it is a very explosive day. Those who are not involved in the fight for the general will be able to take it more calmly.

stage 5

Cape Epic 2023: profile of the 5th stage.


Cape Epic 2023: profile of the 5th stage.Absa Cape Epic

It could not be otherwise: after a more bearable day, another hellish one. Undoubtedly, the fifth stage of this Cape will be the queen, with a five-star technical difficulty and the bestial ascent to Greenlandberg, the highest point of this edition: it is crowned at more than 1,100 meters. Afterwards, leg-breaking terrain, although almost always favourable, until completing 102 km with 2,450 m of unevenness.

Stage 6

Cape Epic 2023: profile of the 6th stage.


Cape Epic 2023: profile of the 6th stage.Absa Cape Epic

We are talking about the stage that chains the most long ascents of this entire Cape. The unevenness is brutal, taking into account that, apart from the prologue and the time trial, this is the shortest online stage (78 km): 2,300 m accumulated. The downhill section of Graveyard can determine the outcome before the last climb.

stage 7

Cape Epic 2023: profile of the 7th stage.


Cape Epic 2023: profile of the 7th stage.Absa Cape Epic

The classic arrival in Val de Vie, at the Champs Elysées in South Africa, will be anything but calm. We already saw in 2022 how the general turned upside down on the last day and this year the same could happen as the differences get tight. Two long climbs, dangerous descents and 2,400 m of unevenness in just 80 km. Everything can happen.


Georg Egger and Lukas Baum they will start as great favorites for the title with the number 1 on their backs. The German duo blends in perfectly and is characterized by its enormous reliability. Last year they made history by becoming the first couple to win the overall standings without starting as leaders on the final day. A small step below will be its direct rivals in 2022, some Andreas Seewald and Martin Stosek who were left with honey on their lips on that historic day. Below we find the Italian-German duo formed by Fabian Rabensteiner and Wout Alleman, who arrive with great confidence after their impressive victory in the Andalucía Bike Race, a race that always serves as a final test prior to the Cape. Nor should it be ruled out legendary Nino Schurter, who after experiencing a career plagued with misfortunes last year will return with renewed energy alongside his compatriot Andri Frischknecht.

As for the spanish options for making a top-5 and even fighting for the podium, the couples formed by Sergio Mantecón and José María Sánchez, in addition to the world number one in the UCI ranking in 2022, david valero, that will form a pair with Pablo Rodriguez.

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