Breaking ground: The Absa Cape Epic Prologue

Until comparatively recently, the pursuit of a professional cycling career for female riders was seen as unrealistic. Sponsors weren’t interested in investing in women, and without the financial backing, women’s cycling just couldn’t gain the same traction as the mens’ division.

Luckily, the environment is changing and as more sponsors start getting involved, more outstanding sportswomen are getting the chance to flex their muscles in the world’s greatest stage races. We spoke to some of the #SasolEpicWomen to get their opinion on what it takes to compete at the Absa Cape Epic.

While some cross-country races definitely suit a less-experienced rider, 5 time Epic finisher Theresa Ralph believes that a stage race as challenging and physically taxing as the Epic is best suited to older, more experienced riders. “You can get here – you just need to push on and keep trying, be competitive, keep you head straight and you’ll do great!”

Getting good advice and equipment is vital, especially when competing in stage races of varied and unpredictable terrain like the Absa Cape Epic. Camilla Howard-Browne of Team Passion and Pain would advise young female riders to start small. The key to overcoming fear is by building confidence slowly over time. In her words, “You don’t want to bite off more than you can chew!”

Yolandi du Toit of Team Galileo Risk puts it perfectly: “Young girls must just keep on cycling, because the future of ladies’ cycling is looking really bright!”

Couldn’t join us in Meerendal? Follow the journey on Twitter, through #SasolEpicWomen, and make sure to visit our website for daily updates of the race.


© COPYRIGHT 2013 Sasol in Sport - Epic Women