19 March, 2024

The adventure begins! Live coverage from the Cape Epic

New skin for a new challenge, South Africa.

 

The Orbea Factory Team is already prepared for the Cape Epic, ready to face 8 stages that will demand the maximum. And there is no better way to face it than with a new special jersey inspired by such a unique place, South Africa.

The 20th edition of the Cape Epic has kicked off!

 

The start was with drama. With Darío’s Orbea Oiz missing on another continent, uncertainty gripped our team until the last moment. But thankfully, it made it just in time! With the Orbea Oiz ready and minds prepared, they’ve plunged into the prologue stage of this challenging race through South African lands.

 

Their camaraderie has been evident from the get-go. With good vibes, they’ve navigated trails, overcome obstacles, and enjoyed the spectacular scenery that surrounds them at every turn. Yet, this is just the beginning. The real test lies ahead, with kilometers of dusty trails and paths awaiting our duo. This is the Cape Epic!

Teamwork is absolutely essential.

 

The Cape Epic is much more than a start and finish line. It is a whole experience of logistics and preparation, from motorhome transfers to everyday tasks such as cooking, shopping, laundry and recovery massages. Parallel and stressful ‘stages’ add an extra level of challenge, where it is easy to lose sight of your companion amidst the bikers congestion, stops and large groups of cyclists kicking up dust and making it difficult to see ahead.

Just finishing today was a win.

 

A hard day at the office. Signs of fatigue began to appear, affecting our most basic reflexes. The critical moment came when Dario crashed at the end of the stage, going downhill at 50km/h, and had to go straight to the hospital to have his head examined. This day reminds us how important it is to stay calm and focused, even in the most challenging moments.

 

Tomorrow, we will reach the halfway point of the race, which tastes bittersweet. Every step we take brings us closer to the finish line, which is something to celebrate. But we also have to face the fact that this adventure is coming to an end.

Tired but excited.

 

A stage marked by rocky terrain and relentless gusts of wind. The wide trails exposed the team even more to the inclement weather. Still, despite the residual pain from Darío’s fall, they remained firm and resilient, demonstrating the Orbea Factory Team spirit in all its glory.

 

The Oiz, a faithful companion for adventures in this challenging terrain, is exceptionally reactive. After each stage, it is thoroughly cleaned and overhauled to prepare for the next.

Is it worth keeping going?

 

In a stage marked by a reduction in the number of kilometers due to the high temperatures, the first three parts of the stage went smoothly until the descents brought insecurity. It was, however, one of the most beautiful stages of the Cape Epic.

 

Racing in twos is a rewarding experience where the joys are shared and the hardships endured. Even if the team is far from its main goal, giving up is not an option

Getting better with time.

 

Dario was not in good physical condition, while Ibon was psychologically affected. However, as we have already mentioned, teamwork and unity are essential. Recovering step by step and reaching the goal with better feelings and greater confidence on the downhills. An additional boost of motivation for the last two stages.

A welcome rainy day.

 

After days of scorching heat, we welcomed a little rain. On the penultimate stage, we embraced the mud and enjoyed every moment. With a day that started slow but built up, every trail became an adventure. And let’s talk about the Orbea Oiz with its 120mm of travel, it made the experience even better! Time to get it ready for the final stage.

Want more XC action? See what the Orbea Factory Team is up to!