The Absa Cape Epic is the world's most televised mountain bike race and the only eight-day mountain bike stage race classed as “hors catégorie” by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI); this official UCI status makes it a highlight on the professional racer's calendar. The race also attracts aspiring amateur riders wanting to test themselves against the best. It’s a full-service race, meaning that everything is taken care of from the start - all riders need to think about is riding.
The world’s premier mountain bike stage race and Toyota South Africa Motors [TSAM] have announced a new partnership wherein TSAM becomes a Headline Sponsor of the event until 2025. TSAM is also the Official Vehicle Partner, Mixed category sponsor, and Official Route Partner to the Absa Cape Epic.
“Our partnership with Specialized, supporting Matt Beers and Tristan Nortje’s Mountain Biking careers began early last year. It brings us great joy to be building on our commitment to cycling by partnering with the world’s toughest, most scenic mountain bike races. As we offer a range of leading off-road vehicles, it was only fitting for us to partner with the Absa Cape Epic team to show our commitment to endurance cycling and customers,” says Toyota South Africa Motors, President and CEO, Andrew Kirby
As the Official Vehicle Partner of the Absa Cape Epic, Toyota will be the vehicle brand of choice for the event’s staff, crew, and stakeholders. In addition, the Toyota Land Cruiser, renowned for its perfect blend of strength and refined luxury, has been identified as the preferred vehicle to transport guests of the Absa Cape Epic Luxury Route Tours. These Luxury Route Tours take guests to remote destinations along the race route to witness the racing unfold within touching distance of the world’s best and most serious amateurs.
"Toyota has been a supporter of South African mountain biking for many years and we’re honoured to have the Toyota Land Cruiser as our official vehicle for 2023. It’s the ideal choice for our route designers that need the toughest and most reliable 4x4 to support their quest to design new and more challenging routes for the Absa Cape Epic," says Absa Cape Epic Founder, Kevin Vermaak
The race must be completed by both members of a two-person team with only 680 teams allowed to ride the race each year. Every edition follows a different route, leading aspiring amateur and professional mountain bikers through roughly 700 untamed kilometres of unspoilt scenery and up 16 000m of vertical ascent. The terrain is as varied as it is harsh, with dusty and demanding gravel roads, strenuous rocky climbs, thrilling technical descents, refreshing river crossings, and fast forest singletracks.
In sponsoring the Mixed category, Toyota has naming rights for the category that sees the teaming up of men and women to tackle the Absa Cape Epic; it will be referred to as the Toyota Mixed category. The green category leader jerseys will be emblazoned with Toyota’s branding, further linking the brand to the category and the event.
The most physically demanding sections of each stage of the Absa Cape Epic will be branded the “Toyota Tough Sections” and teams from around the world will be reminded that toughness is a requirement to compete in the race.
The 2023 Absa Cape Epic route was launched on 21 September 2022, and it promises to challenge every team that has answered Africa’s call and signed up for the race taking place from 19 – 26 March 2023.