Annual adidas Amabubesi Breakfast
To reward mountain bikers that return each year to ride the Absa Cape Epic, adidas and organisers of the event created a loyalty programme. Riders who have completed the Magical and Untamed African Mountain Bike Race three times are awarded membership to adidas Amabubesi – the Absa Cape Epic Finisher Club.
Gerrie Steyn and Hendrik van Huyssteen have completed all seven Absa Cape Epics and are members of Amabubesi. Says Steyn at the start of the prologue: “We’re much more relaxed and experienced than we were at the beginning. We’re ready to go for it and also enjoy it. I suppose it’s a bit easier for us as we know what we’re in for.” Van Huyssteen adds: “We’re well prepared for the race and have been training for around 4 to 5 months. We’re definitely better prepared and have done longer rides. Our goal is to finish this year’ event in good health and spirits, and we’re hoping to finish in the top half.”
Members of the adidas Amabubesi Finishers Club enjoyed a breakfast on 26 March at 221 Waterfront
Another Amabubesi team to participate this year is William Simpson and Mike Nixon. Says Simpson: “This will be my 7th Absa Cape Epic and of course I’m very excited, but it really doesn’t get any easier. We ride this course (the Prologue in Tokai Forest, part of the Table Mountain National park) often, but you fear what you know. With the previous prologue, I gave it my all and ended having cramps the next day.” His partner Nixon adds that it is amazing to be back. “We met some of the other Amabubesi riders at the breakfast and it was great to see them again. We never meet up during the year, so it really felt like coming home. We’ve probably done the prologue course a thousand times, but it still doesn’t take the butterflies away. I still get nervous and even forgot my water bottle this morning. Today’s course is quite technical, so our goal was to stay on our bikes – we didn’t want to be a statistic of ending with a R17 000 bill after 27 km of racing. My goal is to be at the Amabubesi breakfast again next year with eight Cape Epics under my belt.” Nixon is also well-known as a mountaineer and has attempted a number of the world’s highest peaks, collectively known as the 7 summits.
John Gale, who has completed the race 7 times, says after finishing the prologue: “It’s just amazing to get to the start as one needs to be lucky in so many ways. We were the fourth team to go this morning, so the track was still in great condition. This year’s prologue was very accessible to spectators, which was nice. And it was so good to have it in Cape Town. Of course the first goal is to finish the race and the second goal is to do it as fast as you can.”
For Rob Mcintosh, this is his 7th Absa Cape Epic: “It’s good to be back. I must admit this was one of the hardest time trials ever. I feel sorry for the guys who had to ride later in the day as the track no doubt became more technical later. This race has grown bigger and bigger – in the first year it was very small. I really want to congratulate Kevin Vermaak on a job well done. The courses are better and slicker, they’re marked clearly, the registration went really smooth – everything just improves every year. Our goal for this year is to finish faster – I have a strong partner – so we just need to watch ourselves that we stay healthy and don’t get hurt.”
Joyce Benade completed 5 Absa Cape Epics with the same partner and has been riding with a different partner for the last two years. “Today’s route was fantastic with beautiful views, lovely single-track – an awesome ride. Our goal is to finish – we haven’t trained together as my partner lives in Scotland. So we want to have fun.”
Henco Rademeyer reckons the prologue was great. “This is my 8th Cape Epic and I was looking at photos taken at the first race the other day – it’s changed dramatically and I really want to congratulate Kevin Vermaak. It has grown immensely – even from last year to this year. I really want to applaud him for his accomplishments. Our goal is always the same – to finish the race.”