Team KMC EKOÏ SR Suntour – ABSA Cape Epic 2018

March 23, 2018 BH South Africa

Team KMC EKOÏ SR Suntour – ABSA Cape Epic 2018


All good things come to an end! Looking back on the past few days, 13 530 total meters of climbing, 653 km’s covered, 653 km’s covered overall, 13 530 total meters of climbing, 564 completing teams , 8 amazing days of racing & 5 different towns. The Cape Epic was intense, it had us on the edge of our seats at every turn! To sum up the race in one short sentence….expect the unexpected!

Well done to Annie Last and Mariske Strauss from Team Silverback KMC! They finished in 5th place but held on strong to the 3rd place in the grand overall! You both showed amazing team work and powered through everything that was thrown your way!

Jordan Sarrou and Victor Koretsky finished 31st in the grand overall. Victor had unfortunately fallen ill and we are really proud of them both for completing their very first Cape Epic! Gone are the newbie titles, they raced in the most epic race in the world….and they completed!

One last question remains! Will they be back?…..Well, we will have to see!


Not only is the stage name grit but both our teams showed “true grit” in every possible way in today’s stage. Illness struck both our teams as Victor and Mariske had both fallen ill with a stomach bug that was currently going around. They both decided that they would continue with the race and go as far as they possibly could. The focus of both teams turned from winning to….finishing!

Victor and Jordan unfortunately dropped quite a few places but the fact remains that they were determined to finish! So much effort and perseverance was shown! Annie and Mariske also took it slightly easier and they only dropped by a couple of places and finished in 6th position.

Well done to both teams, today you both showed the true meaning of “Grit”!!!

“grit” (noun) – courage and resolve; strength of character.
synonyms: courage, courageousness, bravery, pluck, mettle, mettlesomeness, backbone, spirit, strength of character, strength of will, moral fibre, steel, nerve, gameness, valour, fortitude, toughness, hardiness, resolve, determination, resolution


Flat out, but far from flat. The time trial is the race of truth, just you and your partner against the clock. It is supposed to be a short day, a day of recovery….it was everything but that. In true African style, temperatures soared to 40 degrees. Teams were tested by very dry and hot conditions which unfortunately was just too much for many!

Annie Last and Mariske Strauss showed fantastic team work and came in at a strong 3rd today.👌🏆 We are super proud of you both!

Victor has unfortunately not been feeling well, he is determined though to keep on going. Jordan Sarrou and Victor Koretzky had a hard and tiring race but are currently in 12th position overall. Well done guys!


The Queen Stage. The Tough Stage. This stage includes two of the toughest climbs of the 15th Absa Cape Epic and the terrain will leave riders exasperated at times. There was more singletrack than they could have wish for. The Slanghoek Traverse was a testing descent, while the Thudbuster was a loose and sandy climb that points to heaven but never seems to leave hell. The 9km of the historic Bain’s Kloof Pass is on tar, but felt like it is never-ending.

This 4th stage was about 113km of mountain biking and 1880m of total climbing. Annie Last and Mariske Strauss from Silverback-KMC won the Hot Spot and crossed the line in 2nd position, taking 2nd place overall as well! Jordan Sarrou and Victor Koretzky worked well together again and enjoyed the technical course. They took 12th place today and still moved up in the overall ranking, taking the 11th spot!


While South Africa enjoyed the day off in celebration of Human Rights day, riders faced the longest stage of the 2018 Absa Cape Epic. This stage proved not to be the most challenging in terms of terrain but they were in thorn country, so this stage was not to be taken lightly! The first 20km included three climbs, but it is Penn Hill that was the main challenge of the day, a 3.5km brute of a climb that comes after 12km of uphill graft. This stage is 122km in total with 1800m elevation.

Jordan Sarrou & Victor Koretzky finished are now 13th overall after finishing 15th! Annie Last and Mariske Strauss proved to have a tough day. After 4 days of pushing your body to its limit, it sometimes does not respond the way you hoping it would. Annie had a small fall and Mariske suffered today with stiff legs which combined, cost them a little time. Today is a clear indication of the team spirit that these two ladies share, they face the good and the bad as a solid and strong team! They came in at 4th place which is fantastic considering the challenges that they had faced earlier! Congratulations ladies, we are super proud!


Today was like a 10-round world championship boxing match, with a series of climbs that threw jabs and uppercuts at the riders, all day long.

Victor Koretzky & Jordan Sarrou took the 19th place today on a tough and fast stage. “It was a a 106 km race with 2000 m of total elevation! It was a course for marathon specialists!” said Jordan. Our guys are saving energy for the days to come! They are currently 13th overall.

Annie Last and Mariske Strauss decided to play it safe and rather conserve their energy for the stages that lie ahead. Together they make a very strong team and they work, inspire and motivate each other to keep going! Mariske and Annie claimed an impressive third place with less than 1 second behind second position. Well done ladies!


Stage 1 is never easy at the Absa Cape Epic, although this first day will welcome riders with a hard smile that will become a grimace of effort and endurance. A roll around district and farm roads to start is followed by some sharp kickers and the rock ’n roll descent on the rocky, rutted descent of Con’s Singletrack. Hey, this is Robertson. Everything is rocky in Robertson. And… this is the Cape Epic!

Jordan Sarrou & Victor Koretzky came in 9th place today with an average speed of 26.1 kmph and they are now 5th overall. Annie Last and Mariske Strauss arrived at the finish line with big smiles all round, taking third place. This after all, is not their first rodeo!


The Prologue was held at the University of Cape Town and against the slopes of Table Mountain. The riders were sent up the most vicious climbs of Table Mountain, just 100m long with sections ramping up to unforgiving, steep gradients. Short and oh-so-very sharp!! This trail sent many experienced riders over their handle bars and right onto the dusty path.

Jordan Sarrou and Victor Koretzky crossed the line in 8th position in their category, it was not easy to pass the riders in the final descents. Annie Last and Mariska Strauss paired up for the Epic (Silverback-KMC) and came in 4th!



The 15th edition of the Absa Cape Epic takes place between the 18th and 25th of March 2018 and it is the largest full-service mounatin bike stage race in the world! The Absa Cape Epic is the most televised mountain bike race in the world and the only eight-day mountain bike stage race classed as hors catégorie by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). This official UCI status makes it a highlight on the professional racer’s calendar.

The Absa Cape Epic must be completed by both members of a two-person team with only 650 teams allowed to ride the race. What is guaranteed each year is a challenging traverse of the area’s iconic fynbos valleys, majestic mountains, deep ravines, indigenous forests, spectacular coastlines and flourishing vineyards. The terrain is as varied as it is harsh – dusty and demanding gravel roads, strenuous rocky climbs, thrilling technical descents, refreshing river crossings and fast forest single tracks.



Jordan Sarrou and Victor Koretzky crossed the line in 8th position this afternoon, not easy to pass the riders in the last descents.
They will have plenty of time to overcome riders in the next few days