Roadies’ passion for two wheels lives on at Absa Cape Epic

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Roadies’ passion for two wheels lives on at Absa Cape Epic

Mitch Docker and Ian Boswell just can’t get enough, even if mountain biking is something completely different

CAPE TOWN, 27 February 2023 – It’s not uncommon for professional cyclists to carry on riding post-retirement, such is the enjoyment of being on a bike.

What is unusual, however, is wanting to test the body in ways that frighten even the fittest of men, once the curtain has come down on a career.

But Mitch Docker and Ian Boswell have never been ones for the expected, and this year they will join other road cycling legends at the Absa Cape Epic.
From 19-26 March, mountain biking’s superstars will line up alongside aspirant amateurs to trek across 658km of wondrous untamed terrain and almost 16 000m of climbing, cementing the hors catégorie-classified race as one of the major highlights on the international calendar.

Professionals will have plenty of chances to attack and fight back, while for the amateurs from countries far and wide, it promises to be a race like no other.
For American Boswell, a mainstay of the World Tour in his heyday, the event is something completely different. Since retiring from the international road circuit two seasons ago, he has mostly competed on gravel in the US, where he has performed well.

During his professional road cycling career spanning a decade, he represented several teams, including Bissell, Bontrager–Livestrong, Argos–Shimano, Team Sky and Team Katusha-Alpecin. Grand Tour highlights were finishes in the Vuelta a España, Giro d’Italia and Tour de France.

“I’ve been enjoying life outside the World Tour but still love riding my bike.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve been on a mountain bike. I did a bit as a kid but haven’t done any since I was probably 14. So it’s probably best to do it [Cape Epic] with a roadie,” Boswell says of his upcoming partnership with Australian Docker.

To prepare for his first Cape Epic, Boswell has been riding local endurance events in the US.

During their careers, Docker and Boswell often raced against each other but were never on the same team. That will all change at this year’s Cape Epic.

Docker’s road career was a lengthy one, having competed from 2006 until 2021. While he never rode the Tour de France, he did tackle the Vuelta a España and Giro d’Italia on the Grand Tour.

Unlike Boswell, he has explored the extent of his mountain biking prowess since his retirement.

“The Cape Epic is the Tour de France of mountain biking,” he says.

“I’ve gone way off the road, doing some mountain bike stuff, and I had this idea that Bos and I should go and do Cape Epic.”

Away from the singletrack, Docker has become well known for his Life in the Peloton podcast, where he speaks to guests who give insights about the sport. He is also a loving father to three children in his native Australia, to which he moved from Europe after 14 years.

He is also famed for his “mullet” hairstyle and moustache which continue to be the subjects of much attention, even though he is no longer a professional rider.

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About Absa Cape Epic:

The Absa Cape Epic is the world’s premier mountain bike stage race. The route changes every year, leading aspiring amateur and professional mountain bikers from around the world through roughly 700km of unspoilt scenery and 15 000m of accumulated climbing, over some of the most magnificent mountain passes in Western Cape in South Africa.

The race attracts professional and serious amateur riders from across the planet that participate in two-person teams. It’s a test of skill, fitness, partnership, equipment and mettle and provides a rider experience that is a benchmark for world mountain biking.

The Absa Cape Epic is a full-service race, meaning that everything is taken care of from the start – all riders need to think about is riding. It is the pinnacle event of the Epic Series which is a global portfolio of best-in-class mountain bike stage races.

About Epic Series:

The Epic Series is a global portfolio of the most exhilarating, rewarding, and spectacular 2-person team MTB stage races on the planet. Riders challenge themselves on world-famous trails, discover hidden gems and share a premium riding experience with some of the biggest names in the sport, all while surrounded by iconic landscapes.

Selected races function as qualifier events and grant access to the ultimate proving ground of man and machine: Africa, and the pinnacle event of the Epic Series, The Absa Cape Epic.

The Epic Series Races include:
The Absa Cape Epic (RSA); The SPAR Swiss Epic (SUI); The 4Islands MTB Croatia (CRO); Andorra Epic (Andorra), Port to Port and Cape to Cape (AUS); and FNB Wines2Whales (RSA).

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