This Weekend, Tune Into the Toughest MTB Stage Race in the World

The Absa Cape Epic is often referred to as the ‘Tour de France of mountain biking.’ And it’s back this year.

After a 36-month hiatus, the 2021 Absa Cape Epic could be the most exciting MTB race to date. It covers over 700 km around the Western Cape of South Africa and 16,000 m of elevation. Many call it the “Tour de France of mountain biking,” and it’s one of the most prestigious MTB stage races in the world.

Three hundred teams of pro and amateur riders from over 25 countries will compete in the 8-day race. It’s all about steep climbs, teamwork, and grit. There are men’s, women’s, mixed, and masters divisions.

Check out the teaser for the race above.

When and Where to Watch

This Sunday, tune in here to watch the live event. (Streaming is not available in Switzerland, Australia, or New Zealand — sorry!)

Here’s the schedule:

  • Prologue: Oct. 17, 11:30 p.m.-3:30 a.m. PDT/2:30-6:30 a.m. EDT
  • Stage 1: Oct. 18, 11:30 p.m.-3:45 a.m. PDT/2:30-6:45 a.m. EDT
  • Stage 2: Oct. 19, 11:30 p.m.-3:45 a.m. PDT/2:30-6:45 a.m. EDT
  • Stage 3: Oct. 20, 11:30 p.m.-3:30 a.m. PDT/2:30-6:30 a.m. EDT
  • Stage 4: Oct. 21, 11:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. PDT/2:30-5:30 a.m. EDT
  • Stage 5: Oct. 22, 11:30 p.m.-3:30 a.m. PDT/2:30-6:30 a.m. EDT
  • Stage 6: Oct. 23, 11:30 p.m.-3:45 a.m. PDT/2:30-6:45 a.m. EDT
  • Stage 7: Oct. 24, 11:30 p.m.-4:00 a.m. PDT/2:30-7:00 a.m. EDT

And if you aren’t set on watching the stages live (we know, it’s early), don’t worry. You can catch recaps throughout the day.

Cape Epic 2021: Riders to Follow

  • French rider Jordan Sarrou (XC World Champion)
  • South African riders Matthew Beers, Alan Hatherly, Amy McDougall, and Nico Bell (who’s competed in nine Cape Epics to date)
  • Tour de France riders Lukas Pöstlberger (Austria) and Lennard Kämna (Germany)
  • Swiss rider Sina Frei (2021 Olympics XC silver medalist)
  • Swedish rider Jennie Stenerhag (Cape Epic women’s race winner 2017)

Learn more about the riders and get race updates here.

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Mary Murphy
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Mary is based out of GearJunkie's Denver, Colo. office. She has a degree in English and journalism, and has been writing professionally for more than six years. Her outdoor interests span from running to sport climbing, from landscape photography to skiing to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.

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