The ABSA Cape Epic, the world’s highest profile mountain bike stage race, is as demanding on bikes and equipment as it is on the bodies and minds of the 1200 riders. A bike problem could result in a serious delay or even a DNF; and for a race of this stature, nobody wants to have that story to tell.
Volcan, a brand focussed solely on creating high performance mountain bikes, understands the importance of finishing races like the Cape Epic and has made a full factory racing team-style technical support crew available during the 2013 edition of the race, which runs for eight days from 17–24 March.
Former two-time women’s category winners, Sharon Laws (Great Britain) and Hanlie Booyens (South Africa), will compete in the 10th anniversary edition of the event as teammates again and will be gunning for another strong finish aboard Volcan XC29er carbon fibre hardtails.
Riding as Team Pragma Volcan, they’ll be given special factory team support from Volcan, but they won’t be alone. Any Volcan rider participating in the 2013 Cape Epic can qualify for the same technical support simply by registering by Thursday 14 March 2013. In order to become officially supported, Volcan riders need to email Dave Shemmeld on firstname.lastname@example.org with rider name and Volcan model.
“The professional riders cannot be expected to complete the Cape Epic without the best possible technical support. Why should the non-professionals, who make up most of the race field, be expected to be any different,” said Volcan’s Stewart Miller.
“No bike can claim to be Cape Epic-proof. It’s long race over some of the most rugged terrain. We want to ensure Volcan riders have peace of mind and will offer full technical support to them throughout the duration of the event,” added Miller.
For Booyens and Laws, their quest for another strong showing in the race rests partly on their choice of equipment:
“We’ll be racing against the best female mountain bike racers in the world. We want the best possible equipment and Volcan offers not only that but also fantastic technical support. We need to be 100% sure our bikes are race-ready each day and the Volcan crew will make sure of that, which takes a lot of pressure off us,” said Booyens.
“Some may question why we’re racing carbon-fibre hardtails and not dual-suspension bikes for the Cape Epic. We’re both light, well-conditioned riders and the light bike weight benefits we get over 800 kilometres and 15000 metres of climbing add up,” explained Booyens.
“The 29-inch wheels obviously offer improved stability over technical terrain and also give a little bit of comfort for the really rough surfaces. The Volcan XC29 is super responsive which is important. Any waste of energy means a loss of efficiency. When you’re competing at the top level, that’s important,” added Booyens.