Where to Watch the Absa Cape Epic – Live!

Come enjoy the drama and excitement live from the trails during the 2024 Absa Cape Epic. This is where you can watch every stage, from the 17th to the 24th of March! 

There is nothing quite like the atmosphere of live sport. Feeling the palpable tension in the air. Sharing in the excitement of the athletes, witnessing their triumphs and disappointments in the flesh. Cycling in general and mountain biking specifically lets you dive deep into everything that makes going to a sports match great, the fans are right there within touching distances of the heroes and heroines. Its intoxicating.

This is where you can experience that excitement during the 2024 Absa Cape Epic…

Prologue | Sunday, 17 March 2024

Lourensford Wine Estate, Somerset West

Race Village:Lourensford Polo Fields

What to Expect: The Absa Cape Epic begins with a Prologue Time Trial. Each team rolls off the start ramp at a set time and takes on a 27-kilometre route, with 700 metres of climbing. It will take the fastest teams around an hour to complete the course and the slowest need to clock a time of under 2 hours and 20 minutes to beat the first cut-off. The teams will start in reverse order of their rankings, with the Number 1 ranked, Toyota Specialized NinetyOne, last off the start ramp.

Start Times:

Click through to view the Rider Register and find your favourite’s start time.

First UCI Women’s Team: 10:26:40

First UCI Men’s Team: 11:57:50

Spectator Points:

A. Start/Finish Line – 0km/27km

If you would like to see every team there is no better place to watch the action than from right next to the start/finish line. Settle in, visit a food stall or enjoy a Vida e Caffè coffee, while watching the action unfold.

B. Fair Cape Floating Bridge – 25km

Take a walk from the race village up to the Fair Cape Floating Bridge to watch the teams fly across the water and race into the final singletrack of the day. Located 1 500 metres, uphill, from the race village it is a brisk walk to the spectator point.

C. MTB Tour – Various

Join a spectator tour from the race village and see the race from four locations out on course. Please note this is a guided spectator experience, to ensure you do not get lost in the vast Lourensford estate and stumble onto the track, which could potentially cause an accident.

Stage 1 | Monday, 18 March 2024

Saronsberg Wine Estate, Tulbagh

Race Village:Saronsberg Wine Cellar

What to Expect: A challenging opening marathon day with limited access to the course for spectators. The only spectator point of the day is located at the Thirsti Water Bridge, on the Reflections Guest Farm, just outside Tulbagh.

Spectator Point

A. Thirsti Water Bridge – 44km

Located on the banks of the Reflections Guest Farm dam, the only spectator point of the day allows you to watch the teams racing across the Thirsti Water Bridge. The spectator point is also the first full water point of the stage and coming at the half-way mark in the stage will be a great place to see how the race is unfolding.

Stage 2 | Tuesday, 19 March

Saronsberg Wine Estate, Tulbagh

Race Village:Saronsberg Wine Cellar

What to Expect: The stage takes teams to the east, out of the Tulbagh Valley into the Witzenberg. The drive around is close on 95 kilometres and will take an hour and 15 minutes to complete, as you will need to drive through Ceres and up three passes. The effort is worth it though as the Witzenberg Valley is one of the most beautiful agricultural regions in the country and the spectator point, at Sip Coffee Shop will be a hive of excitement.

Spectator Points:

A. Sip Coffee Shop – 38km

Located 38 kilometres into the 97 kilometre route, after the Ou Wapad ascent and the descent into the Witzenberg Valley. The first kilometres looping into the southern section of the valley are relatively non-technical, by Witzenberg standards, so the top teams should pass Sip Coffee Shop in a significantly sized group.

B. Welgemeen Farm – 44km

Shortly after Sip the race reaches Water Point 2 on the Welgemeen Farm. Despite a singletrack climb and descent between the two spectator points, there is unlikely to be much change in the racing over the 6 kilometres which separates them. As such you will likely have to pick one of the two points as your spot to visit for the day.

Stage 3 | Wednesday, 20 March

Saronsberg Wine Estate, Tulbagh to CPUT Wellington

Start Race Village:Saronsberg Wine Cellar

Finish Race Village:CPUT Wellington, AGRI-HUB

What to Expect: The only transition stage of the race takes teams from Saronsberg, in Tulbagh, to the Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s AGRI-HUB in Wellington. Spectators following the event will have to make use of the R44 (via Hermon) to get straight to the finish, quickly. If you are going to the day’s only Spectator Point drive via the R43 to Bergsig Wine Estate and then continue on to the N1 through the Slanghoek Valley. Bainskloof Pass, which is being used by the race, is closed to traffic for the day.

Spectator Point

A. Bergsig Wine Estate – 45km

The only Spectator Point of the day comes 45 kilometres into the 94 kilometre stage. Bergsig Wine Estate doubles as a Spectator Point and Water Point. The coffee shop and restaurant will be open and the cellar will be open for wine sales too.

Stage 4 | Tuesday, 21 March

Race Village:CPUT Wellington, AGRI-HUB

What to Expect: The Queen Stage of the 2024 Absa Cape Epic will be the most challenging day of the race for the riders, and will provide exciting live viewing. The day boast two Spectator Points, one at Imbuko Wines and the second at the foot of Bainskloof Pass before the teams take on the ascent to the Cliff Hanger.

Spectator Points

A. Imbuko Wines – 20km

Title sponsors of one of South Africa’s top mountain bike teams, Imbuko Wines has a deep connection with the sport. As such they will certainly put on a show at the first Spectator Point of the day, even if it is early in the morning. Grab a coffee in their restaurant and watch the teams start the second of the day’s six big climbs.

B. Bainskloof Pass – 55km

At the foot of the pass the route hits the asphalt briefly, exiting a trail from Cool Runnings before starting the Aap d'Huez climb towards the Cliff Hanger. Water Point 3 doubles as Spectator Point B and you will be able to see the teams as they begin the final, pivotal climb of the Queen Stage.

Stage 5 | Friday, 22 March

Race Village:CPUT Wellington, AGRI-HUB

What to Expect: A short stage before a journey, by bus or car, to Stellenbosch for the final weekend of the 2024 race. Fans will have two opportunities to see their teams. The first is at Schalk Burger and Son’s Welbedacht Wine Estate. The second is in the Walvanpas Valley at Doolhof Wine Estate.

Spectator Points

A. Welbedacht Wine Estate – 25km

Schalk Burger and Son’s Welbedacht Wine Estate’s lawns may be best known for hosting concerts but they are also the perfect venue for an early morning Absa Cape Epic Spectator Point. The main contenders in both elite fields should still be together as they pass through the first Water Point, so expect a high-speed viewing.

B. Doolhof Wine Estate – 51km

Just 19 kilometres from the stage finish but with two challenging climbs to come, Water Point 3 and Spectator Point 2, at Doolhof Wine Estate is the point where the day’s aggressors will look to push on. Seeing who is looking strong there and who is beginning to suffer might indicate which way the stage result could go.

Stage 6 | Saturday, 23 March

Race Village:Stellenbosch University, Coetzenburg Sports Fields

What to Expect: The penultimate day of the race, around Stellenbosch’s Simonsberg trails is one of the most spectator friendly days. With the event passing through Muratie Wine Estate twice it will be easy to post up and watch the teams come past twice, before hustling across to the Coetzenburg Sports Fields to watch the finish.

Spectator Point:

A. Maratie – 25km & 47km

The race passes through Muratie Wine Estate twice, once at 25 kilometres into the day and then a second time after a singletrack loop after 47 kilometres. The restaurant will be open for coffees and breakfasts, so settle in and enjoy the show.

Stage 7 | Sunday, 24 March

Race Village:Stellenbosch University, Coetzenburg Sports Fields

What to Expect: The Grand Finale starts and finishes on the Coetzenburg Sports Fields, of Stellenbosch University, while the stage takes in the trails of Jonkershoek, Coetzenburg and Mont Marie. Come watch the action live on the finish line or venture out on course to Jonkershoek, the XCO track, Eden Forest, or G-Spot.

Spectator Point:

A. Jonkershoek Gate – 36km

The first spot to see the race on the final day is the Jonkershoek Gate, at the Balance Coffee Roastery, the teams will pass through there after 36 kilometres of racing and having taken in some of the best trails in the country.

B. Gum Up – 50km

On the World Cup XCO course Gum Up leads teams into the latter section of the final stage, offering a route towards Mont Marie. The climb is a steep one and is within easy walking distance from the start/finish line. So head on over to get an up close look at the world’s best stage racers.

C. Eden Forest – 63km

Not the place to go if you would like to see the winners finish, but a great spot to see the teams pass by if you are waiting for an amateur team. From Eden Forest it could be as much as a 20 minute drive and walk from parking to the finish line, so plan accordingly. Or ride from point-to-point on your bike to see more of the race. (Just do not ride on the official race route!)

D. G-Spot – 65km

Just 2 kilometres from the finish line G-Spot is an amazing place to witness the skills of the world’s best. Like Eden Forest there is no way you are getting from G-Spot to the finish before the riders, so do not plan to see a team there and beat them to Coetzenburg.