Just Like Clockwork – The Time Trial
After three marathon stages the 2019 Absa Cape Epic route provides some relief in terms of distance, but the singletrack filled race against the clock will certainly not ease up on the difficulty. The allure is rather one of a shorter day in the saddle with more recovery time – especially for the non- elite riders who will be starting in general classification order after the UCI men and women have been released from the start gate. The route is designed to pack all the best Oak Valley and Paul Cluver trails into one short, sharp stage. Think, Pine Singles, Tranquillity, Nürburgring, Mamba, Vissie’s Magic, Sounds of Silence, Wonderland and the Greenhouse Effect. But beware the singletracks are linked with leg sapping climbs to ensure the stage’s winning time is around 105 minutes. Out of the gate the climbing begins as the route provides opportunities for the strongest riders to put time into their rivals. Climbs like Tierkop, Ma se Gat, Berg Adder, Puff Adder and a horrendous 350 meter long beast all add up to provide a total of 1 000 meters of elevation gain. For the fans the time trial provides the perfect spectator point, the Paul Cluver Amphitheatre. The route forms an irregular figure of eight with riders crossing over each other on the bridges of the Paul Cluver Bike Park. Spectators will be able to see their favourites at kilometres 6 and 20, leaving enough time to make it back to the finish line at Oak Valley Estate after the second sighting.