4 years ago

Onelife 26

  • Text
  • Rover
  • Vehicles
  • Cape
  • Epic
  • Defender
  • Rugby
  • Donegal
  • Terrain
  • Phev
  • Arctic
Share the passion of a Land Rover-loving community in a remote corner of India | Experience the thrills of driving on ice in the Range Rover Velar | Explore stunning Donegal with seafarer Monty Halls and his family | Relive the child-like sense of wonder captured at the Above & Beyond Tour | See why the Range Rover PHEV impressed mountaineer Jimmy Chin | Encounter the most powerful Defender: the Classic Works V8 special


CAPE EPIC MOUNTAIN BIKE RACE NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART Participants in the Absa Cape Epic – from keen amateurs to world-class professionals – come from all across the world to compete, in teams of two, over a distance of more than 400 miles, split across seven stages and eight days. Some stages include climbs of more than 6,500 feet. Riders typically train for six months ahead of the race, for up to 12 hours a week. 50

Land Rover vehicles‘ capabilities are put to the test every year in the Cape Epic, making sure its riders face some of the toughest and most challenging routes on the planet throughout that 18 months of preparation.” Indeed, when it comes to the massively complex task of scouting the route of the race, the Cape Epic’s fleet of ultra-capable Land Rover vehicles plays a crucial role. “We simply couldn’t do it without the support of Land Rover because we’ve got to be out every single month monitoring the state of the next year’s itinerary. For that we need highly capable and, above all, reliable scouting vehicles,“ says Vermaak, thinking no doubt of the upcoming 2019 Cape Epic and its possibly entirely new route. He, his scouts and their Land Rover vehicles are set for another busy year. This year’s race – the 15th Cape Epic and the third with Land Rover as its Official Vehicle and Route Partner – started with a 12.5-mile Prologue on the iconic Table Mountain followed by seven grueling stages that visited the towns of Robertson, Worcester and Wellington, before finishing at the beautiful Val de Vie Estate in the Paarl-Franschhoek Valley. Those spending eight days in the saddle could expect to face four consecutive days of over 62 miles, as well as a draining time trial on Stage 5 and a final stage taking the exhausted riders from Wellington to Val de Vie over a testing 43 miles with 6,560 feet of climbing. The Cape Epic race organizers made sure that those prized finishing medals didn’t come easy. It’s no surprise, then, that only 84 percent of riders managed to cross this year’s finishing line. “It’s such an intense ride,” says 59-year-old Mike Nixon, ex-mountaineer and a member of Land Rover‘s own official Cape Epic team, which participates in a “YOU LITERALLY number of categories with a 12-man roster. As one of only four HAVE TO FIGHT riders to have completed the Cape Epic all 15 times (a group known FOR EACH PEDAL as the Last Lions), Nixon knows STROKE ON what he is talking about. “This year’s Stage 4 – the THOSE CLIMBS” Land Rover Technical Terrain MIKE NIXON section – was the toughest stage on the Epic this year by far. The single-track trails going up the Goudini Spa segment were incredibly dry, rocky and sandy. You literally had to fight for every pedal stroke on those climbs.” As for the Land Rover team, all of its 12 riders successfully crossed the finishing line this year. Mike Nixon came in at 252nd overall with his riding partner Jasper van Dijk, while former Proteas batsman and all-round cricketing legend Gary Kirsten and his partner Roddy van Breda, competing in the over 40s Masters category, finished 87th in their category. And rugby hero Carlos Spencer, together with Clinton Mackintosh, finished 98th in the Masters category. “It was a truly incredible eight days,” says Gary Kirsten, who managed the Land Rover team as well as riding for it. “I felt honored to be leading this group of people under the Land Rover banner. Simply finishing this grueling race really is an achievement in itself.” Carlos Spencer, it seems, really wasn’t wrong. RIDE ON Next year‘s race runs from March 17-24. For more information on the Absa Cape Epic, visit 51


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Land Rover Magazine 39


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