Cape Epic Qualification

10 team entries for the 2018 Absa Cape Epic have been set-aside exclusively for 2017 Pioneer, 7 Day Epic athletes. 

About Cape Epic

About the Cape Epic

Every year, the Absa Cape Epic early bird entries sell out faster than you can say ‘Indwa’ (the Zulu name for South Africa’s national bird, the Blue Crane). But, as an entrant into The Pioneer, you have the unique possibility of guaranteeing a team entry for yourself and your partner.

The Absa Cape Epic, the Untamed African Mountain Bike Race, brings together top professional mountain bikers and serious amateurs from around the globe to race a new route every year. The Absa Cape Epic is the most televised mountain bike event in the world and the only eight-day stage race classed as hors catégorie (beyond categorisation) by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the same category as the iconic Grand Tours of road cycling.

The ruggedly beautiful terrain, breathtaking scenery and premier full-service race comforts are now legendary in mountain biking circles - as is the unpredictability of African weather conditions, ensuring the challenge is nothing short of epic in anyone’s language.

5 guaranteed team entries will be available by winning your category and 5 guaranteed team entries will be drawn at the final awards ceremony of The Pioneer.



The Absa Cape Epic is held over 8 days covering approximately 800 kilometres with 16,000m of vertical climbing in South Africa.


To qualify for one of these entries, make sure you register your interest here. 


Qualification Guidelines

  • 10 team entries for the 2018 Cape Epic have been set aside for 2017 PIONEER 7 Day Epic athletes.

  • 5 of the 10 spots go to the winners in each of the following 5 Age Categories, note these categories mirror Cape Epic and not 2017 Pioneer categories.
  1. Open Men
  2. Open Women
  3. Open Mixed
  4. Masters 40+ 
  5. Grandmasters 50+
  • For the purposes of Cape Epic Qualification only, the 2 additional 2017 Pioneer categories for men and women 60 years+ will fall into the Grandmasters 50+ category – the fastest time across all 50+ categories will qualify.

  • The remaining 5 of the 10 guaranteed entries will be a draw, drawn at The Pioneer’s awards ceremony on Saturday 11 February 2017, 6pm, Queenstown Pioneer Race Village, Queenstown Events Centre

  • 2017 Pioneer 7 Day Epic athletes will have to pre-register their interest to be included in the draw. This can be done online or at registration at Hagley Park in Christchurch.

  • The Team must complete the Pioneer 7 Day EPIC in order to be eligible to enter the draw (withdrawn, DNF, DQ’s or incomplete teams are not eligible).

  • Mandatory attendance in person for both team members for all 10 guaranteed entries at the awards ceremony is required.
  • The awards ceremony is scheduled for 6pm, Saturday 11 February, 2017.
  • If the winners of the 5 categories or the 5 places in the draw choose not to confirm their guaranteed entry (ie, one or both don’t turn up or don’t commit with a deposit), then the next team in line is eligible for the guaranteed entry.

  • Teams accepting a guaranteed entry will be required to nominate a ‘primary’ rider for future communication from Cape Epic 

  • An immediate non-refundable deposit of US $500 per guaranteed entry must be made on Saturday 11 February 2017. Credit Cards accepted.

  • Teams that win guaranteed entries need to be aware that at Cape Epic, the age categories are different than 2017 Pioneer race categories.

  • It is theoretically possible that a team that in 2017 qualifies in e.g. the Masters category, would fall into the Grand Masters category for the 2018 Cape Epic.

  • Teams will be formally invited to enter the 2018 Cape Epic in March 2017 and make the final payment (minus the deposit of US $500 paid in February 2017) by May 2017.

  • Once a guaranteed entry has been confirmed by a team, then the entry is bound by the terms and conditions specified by Cape Epic which can be viewed on their website