After the last minute cancellation of the 2020 Cape Epic, the world has had a succession of huge changes. The Olympics have been postponed, millions have lost jobs, hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost, and economies have dived into recession.
However, there have been positives. They may not outweigh the negatives, but there has been a reduction in pollution thanks to a massive drop in air travel. Exercise and spending time outdoors has become more of a priority in some areas and countries where lockdowns haven’t been as strict. And some mountain bikers have even used the time to focus on their training, including skills and working on strength imbalances.
While the calendar continues to evolve, it will likely remain highly fluid until when (or if) there is a vaccine for COVID-19 and it has global distribution and uptake. That will play a big role for international travel, and the bucket list mountain bike races we all love.
Entering the Cape Epic in 2021
Getting an entry for the Cape Epic has been notoriously difficult, and reliant on a lottery system. After the cancellation of the 2020 race, entrants were given the option of a 50% rebate of their entry to use for 2021, 2022 or 2023. If they chose 2021, they would have a further 25% reduction in the entry fee. Many riders have taken up this option.
For those wanting to enter the 2021 event, obtaining an entry will prove even more of a challenge due to the prioritisation of the 2020 riders and a reduced field size of 499 teams. A large percentage of the 2020 field has taken up the offer, leaving only 55 entries when entries open on 19 May 2020.
In the past, the entry process has opened with early bird entries that are sold out instantaneously; riders unsuccessful in obtaining an early bird entry could then enter the Lottery for a nominal fee in the hopes of Lady Luck shining on them. For the 2021 event, the entry process has changed, and there will be no lottery. The entries will be available on a first-come, first-served basis as has been the case with early bird entries in the past. Those riders fortunate enough to get their hands on one of these 55 entries will also have the opportunity to benefit from a 25% discount, if the entry is paid for and confirmed before 15 June 2020.
And if the global situation doesn’t change and you can’t travel to South Africa, teams will receive 100% offset towards attendance in 2022. And if COVID-19 conditions relax, the Cape Epic will make more team entries available again. 499 teams keeps the rider numbers under 1000 – although with so many support staff and crew all in the one area this seems to be more about meeting a number than how it appears on the ground!
The 2021 race route will be largely similar to the proposed route for 2020, with a few small changes.
If you want to enter the Cape Epic for 2021, then make sure you follow the Cape Epic’s how to enter steps, and be ready for 15:00 GMT+2 on 19th May!