Kriek achieves Top 50 at Absa Cape Epic

Hennie Kriek says his performance at this year’s Absa Cape Epic has been his best ever. He and his teammate came 46th out of 600 teams.

Hennie Kriek says his performance at this year’s Absa Cape Epic has been his best ever. He and his teammate came 46th out of 600 teams.

Dedication, focus and determination – these are the qualities that make for Cape Epic success says local mountain biker, Hennie Kriek.

Kriek recently completed his fourth consecutive Absa Cape Epic delivering a performance which he deems his best ever. Together with teammate, Hannes Botha, they managed to place top 30 overall for seven out of the race’s eight days, ultimately finishing 38th in the men’s category and 46th overall.

Adding to the glory of their result was Botha falling ill on the seventh day causing them to drop down nineteen places overall but despite the setback they still managed to finish strongly within the final top 50 ranks. Their total time was 36 hours and 51 minutes.

This year’s anniversary tenth edition of the world class Absa Cape Epic took place from 17 to 24 March. Some 600 teams – comprising cyclists from 49 countries – took on the race’s 781 kilometre route (which also included a mountainous 16 300 vertical metres climb) meandering through the Western Cape’s natural scenic splendour.

In preparation for the event Kriek, who trains without a coach’s aid, began upping the hours spent on his bike towards the end of November last year (putting in 14 to 16 hours per week). He was however cut short when he contracted Malaria in January which forced him to take a whole month off but he says: “In hindsight the forced rest actually benefitted me since it’s important to enter the Epic fresh and not over trained.”

According to him the Absa Cape Epic is one of South Africa’s toughest races, challenging a rider both physically and mentally – hence the reason why he has already signed up for next year’s challenge. He also wishes to thank his sponsors for their continuous support: Mopani Pharmacy, Mankele Mountain Bike Park and Endecon Ubuntu Engineers.

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