In 2009 the Absa Cape Epic Prologue was staged across the face of Table Mountain, in the Table Mountain National Park, but in the days before the event a fire swept across the slopes and much of the course.
After a few nervous days the organisers were, however, able to stage what became known as the "Dash through the Ash" as they had planned.
This year the Prologue returns to the mountain and a new course, which starts and finishes at the University of Cape Town. Once again the Table Mountain National Park has been devastated by fires in early March, but this time they stayed away from the mountain itself and the parts of it through which the Prologue will be staged.
"It's all systems go at this stage," said Absa Cape Epic race director Kati Csak. "The fires have not had an impact on the area around the route at all."
Meanwhile, final preparations are being made to the route, including a new wooden bridge and some singletrack below the King's Blockhouse and leading down to Plum Pudding Hill. Workers have also been cutting a track that will take riders from the University grounds up on to the mountain near Rhodes Memorial.
Csak said it was "a great privilege" taking the Absa Cape Epic back through Table Mountain National Park. "We really appreciate the opportunity to stage part of the race on such an iconic landmark again. It is a great introduction to Cape Town for our foreign visitors and will create lasting memories for them."
The devastation caused by the fires on the Southern Peninsula forced the Cape Town Cycle Tour to cut back its 109km route on Sunday and riders will do an "out and back" course of 47km.
Absa Cape Epic Marketing and Communications manager Sarah Harrop wished the Cycle Tour the best of luck with their event. "They had a tough decision to make, but in the end it was a good one," said Harrop. "We'll be backing their plan to pay tribute to the rescue services for their work on the fires in the past week and to also focus attention on cycling safety."
This year's race takes place from 15 to 22 March and will once again take 1 200 riders through some of the Western Cape's most unspoilt territory. The race kicks off with the Prologue in Table Mountain National Park, starting from the University of Cape Town, and finishes eight days later at Meerendal Wine Estate in Durbanville.
Photo by Karin Schermbrucker, Cape Epic.
Return to UCT hosts Absa Cape Epic Prologue hub
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Please view the republishing articles page for more information.