Tuesday , 29 September 2020

 

2020 ABSA CAPE EPIC: ALL THE RIDER STATS

The 2020 Absa Cape Epic was cancelled just 36 hours before it was due to start because of precautions relating to the Covid-19 virus. Over 1300 riders invested huge amounts of time, money and energy into preparing for the demanding eight-day race. A total of 92.8% of the entrants took the annual rider survey and, in the third and final reveal, we look at their training stats, training devices, how much they spent on clothing and supplements and more.

Hannele Steyn is one of four people and the only woman to have completed every Absa Cape Epic. Here she is with her ready smile during the Prologue of the 2019 race with teammate, Katje Steenkamp. | Photo: Greg Beadle/Cape Epic

There was a total of 1372 entrants (686 teams) for the 2020 edition of the Absa Cape Epic. After 2019, the second largest number entries for the prestigious race. All entrants are sent a pre-race survey, which is optional, but most usually complete it. This year, 1274 of the 1372 entrants completed the survey.

Here are the rider stats:

Months of preparation

3 8%
4 16%
5 13%
6 28%
7 6%
8 6%
9 2%
10 3%
>10 18%
5.6 months Average

Once again, this shows the level of commitment riders invest for the Cape Epic.

A total of 28% say they began serious preparation in September 2019 (six months out), 37% fitted in their preparation in less than six months and a total of 36% said their training build-up period was longer than six months. A total of 71% said they followed a prescribed training plan for the 2020 Cape Epic.

Training aids

  Power Meter GPS HRM
2020 56% 91% 89%
2019 54% 89% 89%
2018 48% 91% 90%
2017 42% 88% 84%
2016 43% 91% 86%
2015 35% 86% 86%
2014 30% 77% 84%
2013 22% 67% 84%
2012 20% 54% 83%
2011 18% 43% 82%
2010 19% 29% 86%
2009 19% 26% 84%
2008 18% 23% 85%
2007 16% N/A 85%

Power meter usage continues to climb among Cape Epic participants, with more than half the field using what is really the most accurate cycling effort measuring device. When this question was first asked, back in 2007, power meters, GPS units and heart rate monitors were largely on different devices. These days, Heart Rate is pretty standard on all GPS devices, with the option to connect and read a power via whichever power measuring method is used.

Type of GPS Device

Bike mounted Wrist N/A
2020 78% 12% 10%
2019 74% 15% 12%

Although wrist-worn GPS devices are increasingly popular, there was a shift among Cape Epic entrants between 2019 and 2020 in terms of type of GPS device used. Bike-mounted devices generally offer deeper levels of cycling-specific data.

With five overall wins and 31 stage wins, Annika Langvad (DEN) is the most successful women in Absa Cape Epic history. | Photo: Shaun Roy/Cape Epic

Type of Heart Rate Monitor

Chest strap Wrist N/A
2020 78% 8% 14%

A new question from 2020 shows that most of those that measure heart rate use a chest strap, which is proven to be more accuratehttps://www.bikeradar.com/features/wrist-based-heart-rate-monitors-vs-chest-heart-rate-straps/  than wrist-based measurement.

GPS Brands

Garmin 77%
Wahoo 8%
Polar 3%
Sigma Sport 1%
Suunto 1%
Other 10%

Another new question for 2020 shows that Garmin is by far the most dominant brand in the GPS device category, followed by Wahoo and Polar in a very distant second and third respectively. This isn’t really surprising since Garmin created the cycling GPS category and has continued to be an innovative leader despite the rise of competitors.

Did you follow a prescribed nutrition plan?

  Yes No
2020 32% 68%
2019 27% 73%
2018 27% 73%
2017 27% 73%
2016 23% 77%

With increasing awareness on general diet growing through, well, the internet, there’s also been a shift in attention paid to nutrition for sports performance. After being fairly static for three years, the percentage of Cape Epic participants following a prescribed nutrition plan has grown.

Lucky Mlangeni in action during Stage 1 of the 2019 Absa Cape Epic. | Photo Sam Clark/Cape Epic

Will you be doing a skills/technical training course before the Cape Epic?

  Yes No
2020 42% 58%
2019 27% 73%
2018 36% 64%

As a mountain biker, you can never be too skilled. As a Cape Epic participant, your investment in the event (training time, family and work sacrifices and financial outlay) could all be for nothing if you make just one mistake. For some reason the percentage of those paying to improve their skills dipped from 2018 to 2019. But it bounced back strongly for 2020.

Does your significant other mountain bike?

  Yes No N/A
2020 41% 43% 16%
2019 40% 44% 16%
2018 39% 46% 15%
2017 42% 42% 16%

Do your children mountain bike?

  Yes No N/A
2020 37% 30% 33%
2019 36% 37% 26%
2018 39% 35% 26%
2017 36% 35% 29%

A fairly consistent percentage of Cape Epic participants who share a passion for mountain biking with their significant other and their kids (those who have, obviously).

What do you expect to spend on nutritional supplements to take with you to the Absa Cape Epic?

  2017 2018 2019 2020
>R5000 5% 6% 6% 7%
R3000-R5000 14% 14% 15% 16%
R1000-R3000 47% 44% 46% 44%
R500-R1000 34% 26% 22% 23%
I’m sponsored –– 10% 11% 10%
Average Spend R2189-46 R2975-50 R2796-98 R2506-02

Sports performance supplements are essential for energy and recovery at a gruelling multi-day event like the Absa Cape Epic as can be seen by the percentages investing in their chosen products.

Germany’s Karl Platt is one of just two men to have won the Absa Cape Epic five times. Christoph Sauser is the other. | Photo: Sam Clark/Cape Epic

What do you expect to spend on cycling clothing for the Absa Cape Epic?

  2017 2018 2019 2020
>R50000 6% 2% 2% 2%
R45000-R50000 1% 0% 0% 1%
R40000-R45000 2% 1% 1% 1%
R35000-R40000 3% 2% 1% 2%
R30000-R35000 6% 3% 2% 3%
R25000-R30000 6% 4% 5% 6%
R20000-R25000 7% 7% 7% 7%
R15000-R20000 13% 11% 13% 11%
R10000-R15000 25% 25% 23% 26%
R5000-R10000 36% 31% 30% 27%
<R5000 0% 0% 0% 0%
I’m sponsored –– 16% 16% 16%
Average Spend R20538-46 R15447-67 R15805-92 R16569-84

High quality clothing, especially bib-shorts, is essential when you’re riding so many hours for eight days in succession. Most teams have special kit made specifically for the Cape Epic too.

THIS SECTION IS A REPEAT OF 2019. WE KEPT IT IN BECAUSE IT’S INTERESTING AND STILL RELEVANT

Start and finish stats of complete teams

Year All Start All Finish % teams DNF
2020 686
2019 690 597 13.5%
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 617 492 20.4%

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

% of Teams that DNF

2017 2018 2019
All 24.4% 16.1% 13.5%
Men 23.3% 13.2% 11.4%
Women 14.1% 25% 16.7%
Masters 15.3% 24.8% 10.3%
Grand Masters 20.3% 29.7% 13.4%
Mixed 20.5% 27.5% 20.8%

% of total finishers – Teams & Solo

2017 2018 2019
All 84.1% 90.6% 92.2%
Men 85.9% 92.5% 91.7%
Women 92.6% 83.3% 86.1%
Masters 84.1% 90.8% 93.8%
Grand Masters 79.7% 89.2% 93.3%
Mixed 77.5% 87.7% 88.7%

General statistics after 2019

Most stage wins 

Men:

38 Christoph Sauser (SUI)

20 Burry Stander (RSA)

17 Karl Platt (GER)

13 Jaroslav Kulhavy (CZE)

10 Nino Schurter (SUI)

12 Bart Brentjens (NED)

6 Mannie Heymans (NAM), Henrique Avancini (BRA), Manuel Fumic (GER)

Women:

31 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), 7 Anna van der Breggen (NED)

 

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)

6 Sebastian Stark (GER), Laura Stark (GER)

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), Udo Boelts (GER)

10 Robert Sim (RSA) 

6 Joaquim Rodrigues (ESP) ,Jose Hermida (ESP)

Grandmasters

32 Heinz Zoerweg (AUT)

27 Barti Bucher (SUI)

13 Robert Sim (RSA)

13 Udo Boelts (GER)

8 Andrew McLean (RSA), Bart Brentjens (NED), Abraao Azevedo (BRA)

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

2019 – 2 (2 SA)

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

2 Nino Schurter (SUI) 2017, 2019

Women

5 Annika Langvad (DEN) 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019

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

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 van Onselen, Geddan Ruddock, Shan Wilson, Damian Booth

Grand Masters: Robert Sim  x 2, Andrew Mclean

The Last Lions

Only four riders have completed every edition of the Cape Epic (16 in total). They are Hannele Steyn (53), Mike Nixon (60), John Gale (50) and Craig Beech (46) – all South Africans.

Did you miss our Absa Cape Epic 2020 Gear Stats analysis? Here you go: http://www.treadmtb.co.za/gear-choice-at-the-2019-absa-cape-epic/

And here’s our Absa Cape Epic 2020 Bike Stats reveal: http://www.treadmtb.co.za/bikes-of-the-2020-absa-cape-epic-all-the-stats/

 

 

 

2020 ABSA CAPE EPIC: ALL THE RIDER STATS Reviewed by on . The 2020 Absa Cape Epic was cancelled just 36 hours before it was due to start because of precautions relating to the Covid-19 virus. Over 1300 riders invested The 2020 Absa Cape Epic was cancelled just 36 hours before it was due to start because of precautions relating to the Covid-19 virus. Over 1300 riders invested Rating: 0

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