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2018 ABSA CAPE EPIC: ALL THE RIDER STATS

The Absa Cape Epic is a race, not a ride. It’s eight days of pressure, not pleasure. It’s not a point-to-point event, but it is a journey – of discovery. Every single participant at the 2018 Cape Epic, whether he/she finished or not, discovered something new about himself/herself and has a compelling story to tell. Each of 1344 riders from 52 countries that started the event, whether they finished it or not, left the race a little tougher and a lot wiser.

The Absa Cape Epic has run a rider survey since 2006. We (TREAD) have become obsessed with these stats and collaborate each year with the Cape Epic in publishing them, along with some insight. Courtesy of Maxxis Tyres, we’re delivering the 2018 stats reveals in three categories – Rider, Gear and Bikes.

Here are all the Cape Epic 2018 rider stats…

Average age

Ave age
18-25
26-30
31-35
36-40
41-41
46-50
51-55
56-59
60+
Total
Male 42 6% 7% 9% 17% 18% 23% 12% 5% 2% 91%
Female 38 7% 12% 21% 22% 16% 10% 9% 2% 1% 9%

The average age is very similar to 2017 with the men static at 42 and women moving from 37 to 38.

Months of preparation

3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 >10 Ave
12% 21% 13% 32% 6% 7% 4% 4% 1% 5.5 months

A total of 68% said they followed a prescribed training plan for the 2017 Cape Epic. Although the biggest percentage (32%) say they began serious preparation in September 2017 (six months out), 46% fitted in their preparation in less than six months. A total of 22% said their training build-up period was longer than six months.

Training aids

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
HRM 85% 85% 84% 86% 82% 83% 84% 84% 86% 86% 84% 90%
Power Meter 16% 18% 19% 19% 18% 20% 22% 30% 35% 43% 42% 48%
GPS N/A 23% 26% 29% 43% 54% 67% 77% 86% 91% 88% 91%

All three training aids, Heart Rate Monitor, Power Meter and GPS, all peaked at their highest usage in the 2018 Cape Epic rider survey. Since it’s the oldest of the three, heart rate monitors have always played an integral part of training performance measurement for Cape Epic riders, but this year the 90% usage stat shows that the monitoring of the ticker is more popular than ever. Yes, all of the above can be measured on one device, and that’s become the norm for most brands like Garmin, Polar, Suunto and Wahoo. And that’s possibly why power meters have peaked as well as GPS…

Sprint finish between Silverback-KMC, Mariske Strauss and Annie Last, and Team Spur, Ariane Lüthi and Githa Michiels during Stage 2 of the 2018 Absa Cape Epic. The women’s race has become more competitive since the organisers introduced a separate women’s start for the UCI race teams.
Photo by Andrew McFadden/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Gone are the days when you’d have different devices on your handlebars and/or wrist. Every committed Cape Epic participant clearly sees technology-measured performance as his/her companion. As power measurement becomes more cost effective and bicycle riders more enlightened to the benefits of power measurement, expect Power Meter usage to continue to grow.

Start and finish stats of complete teams

Year All Start All Finish % teams DNF
2018 672 564 16.1%
2017 666 503 24.4%
2016 648 483 25.5%
2015 624 512 18%
2014 620 522 15.7%
2013 630 496 21.4%
2012 605 481 20.5%
2011 604 496 18%
2010 589 445 24.5%
2009 598 503 16.1%
2008 599 435 27.4%
2007 624 468 25%
2006 466 379 19.1%
Ave 611 484 20.9%

 

After two years of some of the biggest DNF percentages, the 2018 Cape Epic had one of its lowest DNF rates. At 16.1%, it was equal second lowest DNF rate, along with 2009, and well below the 20.9% average. While there is never really an easy Cape Epic, the 2018 edition will go down in history as race that was remembered for, well, nothing exceptional really. Although there were a couple of hot days, the weather wasn’t extreme, the stage distances weren’t excessive (the longest was 122km); and the time trial on Day 6 was a short stage that gave most a little recovery after five 100km-plus days in succession. With much of the route now using existing mountain bike trails networks, the majority of the terrain is also becoming less unpredictable and more mountain-bike friendly.

Robert Sim and Udo Boelts celebrate winning the Grand Masters catagary during the final stage (stage 7) of the 2018 Absa Cape Epic. Sim was the only South African to win a major category title in 2018.
Photo by Sam Clark/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

With 672 teams, the 2018 edition had the highest numbers of starting teams in the race’s history. And the 564 finishing teams is the biggest number of finishers too.

Note: these stats exclude the first two editions (2004 and 2005) as we have no data on those events.

All categories start and finish stats 2018

2018
Team Totals
% of Teams that DNF
Number of Solo Finishers
Total Finishers: Teams + Solo
Total % Finishers: Teams + Solo
All Teams Start 672
All Teams Finish 564 16.07% 89 1217 90.55%
Men Teams Start 272
Men Teams Finish 236 13.23% 31 503 92.46%
Women Teams Start 24
Women Teams Finish 18 25% 4 40 83.33%
Masters Teams Start 228
Masters Teams Finish 193 15.35% 28 414 90.78%
Grand Masters Teams Start 74
Grand Masters Teams Finish 59 20.27% 14 132 89.18%
Mixed Teams Start 73
Mixed Teams Finish 58 20.54% 12 128 87.67%

 

 

% of Teams that DNF 2017 vs 2018

2017 2018
All 24.4% 16.1%
Men 23.3% 13.2%
Women 14.1% 25%
Masters 15.3% 24.8%
Grand Masters 20.3% 29.7%
Mixed 20.5% 27.5%

 

% of total finishers – Teams & Solo 2017 vs 2018

2017 2018
All 84.1% 90.6%
Men 85.9% 92.5%
Women 92.6% 83.3%
Masters 84.1% 90.8%
Grand Masters 79.7% 89.2%
Mixed 77.5% 87.7%

 

What’s very evident here is that the 2018 Absa Cape Epic claimed far fewer teams than the 2018 edition did. As pointed out earlier, the 2017 edition was one of the highest DNF rates, while the 2018 edition was one of the lowest.

The only category that showed a higher DNF rate over last year was the Women’s division with a total of 40 finishers from 48 starters.

Kaysee Armstrong, Team Liv Cycling during the Prologue of the 2018 Absa Cape Epic. The women’s category was the only category that saw an increase in DNF percentage in 2018.
Photo by Andrew McFadden/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

General statistics after 2018

Most stage wins 

Men:

38 Christoph Sauser (SUI)

20 Burry Stander (RSA)

17 Karl Platt (GER)

13 Jaroslav Kulhavy (CZE)

12 Bart Brentjens (NED)

6 Mannie Heymans (NAM)

6 Nino Schurter (SUI)

5 Henrique Avencini (BRA)

5 Manuel Fumic (GER)

 

Women:

24 Annika Langvad (DEN)

17 Hanlie Booyens (RSA), Ariane Lüthi (SUI)

14 Sharon Laws (GBR)

12 Esther Suss (SUI)

9 Hannele Steyn (RSA)

8 Anke Moore (RSA), Yolande de Villiers (RSA) and Sally Bigham (GBR)

7 Sabine Spitz (GER)

7 Kate Courtney (USA)

Annika Langvad & Kate Courtney during stage 3 of the 2018 Absa Cape Epic. Courtney became the first American woman to win the event, while Langvad became the first woman to win four Cape Epic titles and also holds the women’s record for stage wins (24).
Photo by Ewald Sadie/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

Mixed: 

18 Nico Pfitzenmaier (RSA)

15 Ariane Lüthi (SUI), Erik Kleinhans (RSA)

10 Barti Bucher (SUI), Paul Cordes (RSA), Yolande Speedy (RSA)

8 Thomas Frischknecht (SUI), Jenny Rissveds (SWE)

 

Masters:

26 Bart Brentjens (NED)

25 Abraao Azevedo (BRA)

18 Shan Wilson (RSA)

17 Andrew McLean (RSA)

14 Linus van Onselen (RSA)

13 Doug Brown (RSA)

12 Nico Pfitzenmaier (RSA)

11 Carsten Bresser (GER) and Udo Boelts (GER)

10 Robert Sim (RSA) 

 

Grandmasters

32 Heinz Zoerweg (AUT)

27 Barti Bucher (SUI)

13 Robert Sim (RSA)

13 Udo Boelts (GER)

8 Andrew McLean (RSA)

 

Africans (and South Africans) in the Cape Epic overall top 10 since 2006:

2018 – 0

2017 – 3 (3 SA)

2016 – 3 (3 SA)

2015 – 8 (8 SA)

2014 – 5 (5 SA)

2013 – 4 (4 SA)

2012 – 8 (8 SA)

2011 – 3 (1 SA)

2010 – 5 (5 SA)

2009 – 5 (3 SA)

2008 – 6 (5 SA)

2007 – 4 (3 SA)

2006 – 10 (6 SA)

 

South African Cape Epic overall stage winners – men:

20 Burry Stander

4 Kevin Evans

3 Shan Wilson

3 David George

3 Philip Buys

2 Matthys Beukes

2 Brandon Stewart

1 Jacques Rossouw

1 Gert Heyns

1 Ben-Melt Swanepoel

1 Richard Beswick

 

Multiple overall winners:

Men

5 Christoph Sauser (SUI) 2006, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015

5 Karl Platt (GER) 2004, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2016

3 Stefan Sahm (GER) 2007, 2009, 2010

3 Jaroslav Kulhavy (CZE) 2013, 2015, 2018

2 Burry Stander (RSA) 2011, 2012

2 Roel Paulissen (BEL) 2005, 2008

 

Women

4 Annika Langvad (DEN) 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018

3 Ariane Kleinhans (SUI) 2014, 2015, 2016

2 Hanlie Booyens (RSA) 2004, 2009

2 Sharon Laws (GBR) 2004, 2009

2 Sally Bigham (GBR) 2011, 2012

2 Esther Süss (SUI) 2012, 2017

Spaniard, Miguel Muñoz Moreno of Buff Scott 2 crosses a river during stage 2 of the 2018 Absa Cape Epic. Riders from 52 nations competed in the 2018 edition of the event.
Photo by Nick Muzik/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

 

South Africans that have won Cape Epic titles:

Men: Burry Stander x 2

Women: Hanlie Booyens x2, Zoe Frost, Hannele Steyn, Anke Moore, Yolande de Villiers, Karien van Jaarsveld, Yolande Speedy

Mixed: Yolande Speedy/Paul Cordes x2, Erik Kleinhans x 2, Nic White/Anke Moore

Masters: Doug Brown x 3, Andrew McLean x 2, Frank Soll, Duncan English, Fred Coleske, Linus v Onselen, Geddan Ruddock, Shan Wilson, Damian Booth

Grand Masters: Robert Sim  x 2, Andrew Mclean

Hannele Steyn, one of the Last lions, and Jeannie Dreyer of team Nolands Spar Ladies during stage 6 of the 2018 Absa Cape Epic. Steyn is the only female that has ridden all 15 editions of the event.
Photo by Mark Sampson/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS

The Last Lions

Only four riders have completed every edition of the Cape Epic (15 in total). They are Hannele Steyn (52), Mike Nixon (59), John Gale (49) and Craic Beech (45) – all South Africans.

2018 ABSA CAPE EPIC: ALL THE RIDER STATS Reviewed by on . The Absa Cape Epic is a race, not a ride. It’s eight days of pressure, not pleasure. It’s not a point-to-point event, but it is a journey – of discovery. Every The Absa Cape Epic is a race, not a ride. It’s eight days of pressure, not pleasure. It’s not a point-to-point event, but it is a journey – of discovery. Every Rating: 0

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