When Absa first signed as the title sponsor of the Cape Epic back in 2006, it was the first of its kind for mountain biking in South Africa. Back then the race was still in its infancy – an eight-day point-to-point journey that took riders from Knysna to Spier in Stellenbosch via some of the Western Cape’s most breath-taking trails and mountain passes. A lot may have changed over the years but Absa has remained committed to the Cape Epic and in doing so, galvanised its reputation as the gold standard for mountain bike stage racing in the world.
Earlier this week the banking giant announced it would be renewing its position as title sponsor of the Untamed African MTB Race for a further three years (2019 to 2021) which will take its total involvement with the race to an astonishing 15 years.
“We are absolutely delighted to be continuing our relationship with the Cape Epic, the leading Mountain Bike Stage Race in the world. As the race enters its 16th year in 2019, we are proud that we can be part of a project that has grown in stature and popularity, drawing local and international competitors while showcasing the best South Africa and the world has to offer the fans of the sport,” said David Wingfield, Head of Marketing, Absa.
This announcement comes off the back of the news that Absa will soon roll out an all-new corporate identity and brand overhaul – which, co-incidentally, happens to be more closely aligned to the race’s ideologies. For the Cape Epic, Absa has become a pivotal cog in the event’s DNA and having such a prestigious company support and shape its future has been integral to the event’s success over the past 15 years.
“This is great news. Not just for the Cape Epic but for our fans, supporters and riders from all around the world,” said Michael Flinn, Absa Cape Epic Managing Director. “We’re grateful to have Absa onboard for another three years. They’ve been with us from the beginning and shared in our history, helped shape our future and enabled us to take this great race to the world. With this partnership we will undoubtedly continue to set the precedent and push the boundaries for mountain bike stage races on a global scale.”
Absa’s continued support and involvement with the race and mountain biking as a whole clearly highlights the value it sees in the Cape Epic, which has been likened to international Grand Tours such as the Tour de France. Since its humble beginnings back in 2004 the Absa Cape Epic has grown in stature and now forms part of a bigger series of global mountain bike stage races – the Epic Series of which the Absa Cape Epic is the pinnacle.