March 12, 2013
Find accommodation along the Absa Cape Epic route
Stuart Buchanan is a journalist, blogger, and online writer for Flow Communications.
He grew up in Durban and has lived in various parts of South Africa and the UK, before finally settling on Cape Town. He often wonders why anyone would want to live anywhere else.
These days, the word "epic" is bandied about quite freely, but it is by no means used lightly to describe one of cycling's toughest races: the Absa Cape Epic.
March is a great month for cyclists in Cape Town – just last weekend, the local (bare) leg of the World Naked Bike Race took place, followed by the largest individually-timed cycle race in the world, the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour. Starting on Sunday, 17 March, the Absa Cape Epic is another highlight for cycling enthusiasts – it's the largest full-service mountain bike stage race in the world.
The race is held over eight days and includes a time-trial prologue. The route changes every year, and leads aspiring amateur and professional mountain bikers from around the world through the unspoilt nature of the Western Cape, and over some of the most magnificent passes in South Africa.
Teams of two compete over the eight stages of the race with the winners of the day receiving prizes, and the leaders in the overall classification awarded their leader jerseys. There's a large focus on making sure the riders enjoy the experience, and 24-hour service facilities are provided, including tented accommodation in race villages, carbo-loaded breakfasts and dinners, race nutrition, bike servicing, masseurs, and entertainment every evening.
This is the 10th year the Epic is being staged, and this year's route will see cyclists cover about 698km, with 15 650m of climbing through stage locations including Meerendal, Citrusdal, Saronsberg in Tulbagh, Wellington and Stellenbosch, before they again finish at the Lourensford Wine Estate, as has been tradition for the past six years.
Family and friends are also welcome to come and support the riders, and supporter villages are set up at each of the stage locations. Check out our list of some great accommodation and dining options at each of the stage locations for this year's Absa Cape Epic:
Prologue: Meerendal in Durbanville
Places to stay:
Looking for a place to eat? Try the Durbanville Hills Wine Estate.
Stage 1: Citrusdal
Check out these accommodation options in nearby Clanwilliam:
Stage 2 & 3: Citrusdal-Saronsberg in Tulbagh
For accommodation options in Tulbagh, check out the Tulbagh Hotel.
Stage 4 & 5: Saronsberg in Tulbagh-Wellington
Wellington accommodation options:
Stage 6 & 7: Wellington-Stellenbosch-Lourensford Wine Estate
Stellenbosch accommodation options:
Aan Dorpstraat Guest House
Allegria Guesthouse & Vineyard
Asara Wine Estate & Hotel
The Beautiful South Guest House
Caledon Villa Guest House
Fynbos Villa Guest House
Life and Leisure
Stellenbosch Lodge Country Hotel
Wedgeview Country House and Spa
Somerset West accommodation options:
This year's Absa Cape Epic promises to be a truly epic event. Contact us if you are interested in finding out more information about the event, or any of the accommodation or restaurant options mentioned here.