Skip Navigation

Espargaró Swaps Leathers for Lycra at the Absa Cape Epic

Press Release / Photo : Kim Voller (Grandstand) / 14.02.2019

Aleix Espargaro

Though best known for his exploits around a race track, on two petrol powered wheels, the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini MotoGP rider, Aleix Espargaró, will be swapping to two self-propelled wheels for the 2019 Absa Cape Epic. As Espargaró is making his debut he required a partner with experience in the Untamed African Mountain Bike Race, hence he will be joined by three-time finisher Ibon Zugasti in the Orbea Factory Team.
 
The MotoGP season gets underway with the Grand Prix of Qatar on the 10th of March. There is a two week break between the opening round and the second race, the Gran Premio Motul de la República Argentina, allowing Espargaró to fit the Absa Cape Epic into his busy schedule. “MTB stage races are getting super famous in Spain and every year there are more and more races on the calendar. In Spain we say that the Absa Cape Epic is like the Le Tour of mountain biking, so it’s the dream of every cyclist” he explained as to why he is so eager to take part.
 
The 29 year old will make use of mountain biking and ski mountaineering to keep himself in racing shape for MotoGP. As with most elite sportsmen and women Espargaró is as fiercely competitive in his second sports as he is in the one he partakes in professionally. “This 2019 Absa Cape Epic will be my first one, so I can’t compare with any of the previous ones. But as it will possibly be the hardest ever, it will be even more epic for me” Espargaró enthused.
 
With Zugasti by his side Espargaró will have no easy ride. The 46 year old finished second to George Hincapie and Cadel Evens, with Tomás Misser Vilaseca, in the Dimension Data Master’s Category in 2017. Last year, meanwhile, he finished 22nd on the overall General Classification standings with Alberto Losada. So the Spanish mountain biking fans who are following the Absa Cape Epic from home, will have another strong team to cheer for, as Espargaró and Zugasti battle for a top twenty result.
 
Despite his exceptionally busy schedule Espargaró will be spending a little time in South Africa, soaking up the sun and the Winelands scenery before the race. “I have a super busy calendar, but my idea is to arrive four days before the start of the Absa Cape Epic and rent a house in Stellenbosch; to train a bit in that area as I heard that it is the best place in the world for MTB lovers” he enthused.
 
The 2019 Absa cape Epic takes place from 17 - 24 March.

[If you enjoyed this story and would like SleepMonsters to continue reporting on Adventure Racing then we need your help. Please support our Patreon campaign or make a donation via PayPal.]

More About ABSA Cape Epic

Schurter and Langvad Guide Their Newbies Home

Schurter and Langvad Guide Their Newbies Home
Former winners Nino Schurter and Annika Langvad on Sunday completed their objectives of guiding two Absa Cape Epic newbies to victories in Read More


High Fives for Annika and Anna

High Fives for Annika and Anna
Annika Langvad and Anna van der Breggen (Investec-songo-Specialized) collected their seventh stage win at the 2019 Absa Cape Epic to give Read More


Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing Cruise to Overall Honours

Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing Cruise to Overall Honours
With 70km and 1800m of vertical gain standing between Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing and overall victory on the Champs-Élysées of Read More


Langvad and Van der Breggen back on top at Absa Cape Epic

Langvad and Van der Breggen back on top at Absa Cape Epic
The leaders in both the Men's and Women's categories at the Absa Cape Epic extended their leads and both look virtually certain of Read More


Loitering within Tents

Loitering within Tents
It is the most iconic image of all: the rider village at the Absa Cape Epic. 700 identical red tents, laid out to OCD perfection. For the Read More


Locals Woo the Queen

Locals Woo the Queen
Renaissance men Matthys Beukes and Philip Buys shrugged off a disastrous first five days to win The Queen Stage of the Absa Cape Epic from Read More


SA rider is Queen of Queen Stage

SA rider is Queen of Queen Stage
South African Candice Lill and her German partner Adelheid Morath became the Queens of the Queen Stage when they won the 100km Stage 5 from Read More


Even a Crash Cannot Stop Investec-songo-Specialized

Even a Crash Cannot Stop Investec-songo-Specialized
The Investec-songo-Specialized train continues to rush toward Absa Cape Epic victory and such is their control of the Women's category Read More


Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing Storm Back Through the Time Trial

Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing Storm Back Through the Time Trial
The scene is set for a spectacular Queen Stage into Stellenbosch on Friday, as Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing dominated the 43-kilometre Time Trial Read More


Drama on Stage 3 Sees Yellow Jerseys Change Hands

Drama on Stage 3 Sees Yellow Jerseys Change Hands
It's not over until it's over. A disastrous rear-wheel puncture saw Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing concede the Yellow Jerseys to Cannondale Read More


Anna and Annika Keep Their Perfect Record Intact

Anna and Annika Keep Their Perfect Record Intact
The Investec-songo-Specialized duo of Annika Langvad and Anna van der Breggen extended their lead during Stage 2 of the Absa Cape Epic Read More


Hat trick for Schurter and Forster

Hat trick for Schurter and Forster
Oak Valley Estate in Elgin is an icon of the Absa Cape Epic and today's racing will once again be immortalised in the annals of the Read More


Langvad / Van der Breggen Increase Their Absa Cape Epic Lead

Langvad / Van der Breggen Increase Their Absa Cape Epic Lead
There was a tacit admission from their nearest rivals that the mountain biking-road riding combination of Annika Langvad and Anna van der Read More


Swiss Pair Consolidate Overnight Lead

Swiss Pair Consolidate Overnight Lead
The all-Swiss pairing of Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing won the 111km Stage 1 of the 2019 Absa Cape Epic in emphatic fashion on Monday 18 March. Read More


Langvad and Van der Breggen Quickly Take Control

Langvad and Van der Breggen Quickly Take Control
Mountain biking World Champion Annika Langvad and her road riding World and Olympic Champion partner Anna van der Breggen put down a marker Read More


Cross Country Specialists Make Intentions Clear At Prologue

Cross Country Specialists Make Intentions Clear At Prologue
Team Scott-SRAM MTB-Racing won the Prologue of the 2019 Absa Cape Epic on the slopes of Table Mountain ahead of Cannondale Factory Racing Read More


Untold Stories of the Absa Cape Epic

Untold Stories of the Absa Cape Epic
With 650 teams set to start the 2019 Absa Cape Epic on the 17th of March, there are 1 300 individual stories of dedication, Read More


Last Lions Roar On in 2019

Last Lions Roar On in 2019
The Amabubesi Finisher Club celebrates all riders who have finished three or more Absa Cape Epics. That pride of lions grows year on year, Read More


Battle Lines Drawn for 2019 Absa Cape Epic

Battle Lines Drawn for 2019 Absa Cape Epic
The pre-race press conference, held just three days before the start of the Absa Cape Epic, set the assembled mountain biking media abuzz Read More


Iron Cowboy Prepares To Tackle The Untamed African Mountain Bike Race

Iron Cowboy Prepares To Tackle The Untamed African Mountain Bike Race
James Lawrence is no stranger to feats of ultra-endurance. Known as the Iron Cowboy, Lawrence hails from Calgary, Canada, and holds the Read More


Mixed Aspirations for Triple World Champ, Óscar Freire

Mixed Aspirations for Triple World Champ, Óscar Freire
As a former three-time World Champion whenever Óscar Freire pins a number to his kit he attracts a great deal of attention. Even if Read More


War Veterans to Battle Preconceptions By Taking On The Absa Cape Epic

War Veterans to Battle Preconceptions By Taking On The Absa Cape Epic
Jaco van Gass, British Armed Forces Parachute Regiment, and Stu Croxford, Duke of Lancaster's Infantry Regiment, are set to take on the Read More


Icon of South African Cycling to Ride his First Absa Cape Epic

Icon of South African Cycling to Ride his First Absa Cape Epic
From 2001 until he retired in 2013 there was no better known South African cyclist than Robbie Hunter. The former Rabobank, Phonak and Read More


Effervescent Hermida and Rodriguez Return to Master the Absa Cape Epic

Effervescent Hermida and Rodriguez Return to Master the Absa Cape Epic
Effervescent, quick with a joke or a laugh, Jose Antonio Hermida and Joaquim ‘Purito’ Rodriguez are two of the Absa Cape Read More


ABSA Cape Epic

Support Adventure Racing

SleepMonsters Patreon

Facebook

like us on facebook

Adventure Racing Tags

The Pioneer, Harrogate Winter MBO Score Event, ÖTILLÖ Swimrun Malta, Oman Desert Marathon, SwimRun NC, Augusta Adventure Fest, Kathmandu Coast to Coast, AR MALAYSIA, ROOTS NIGHT RACE, FNB Wines2Whales, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, adventure racing, expedition racing, Adventure Racing World Series, Eco Challenge, Adventure Racing European Series

Our Patrons

Adventure Race Croatia

Rootstock Racing

TanzNavigation

SleepMonsters Patreon

Thank you to all our

adventure racing

patrons


Adventure Race Croatia

Rootstock Racing

Tanz Navigation

-- -- --

Brian Gatens

-- -- --

Adventure Enablers

Chipp Dodd

Celia Nash

David Ellis

Erik Sanders

Fiona McBryde

Graham Bird

Jakub Malik

Josh Hayman

Strong Machine AR

-- -- --

Adrian Crane

Barbara Campbell

Dejna Odvody

Klaus Mygind

Lars Bukkehave

Marco Ponteri

Nigel Davison

Rob Horton

Semyon Yakimov