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Tuesday, 12 October 2021

CPUT team ready to tackle Absa Cape Epic

READY TO RACE: Seraj Abrahams and Etnard Louw READY TO RACE: Seraj Abrahams and Etnard Louw

A development engineer who recently recovered from Covid-19 is a member of the CPUT team competing in this year’s Absa Cape Epic, known as the biggest full-service mountain bike stage race in the world.

Etnard Louw, a development engineer at the French South African Institute of Technology will be taking on the gruelling race with Seraj Abrahams, a quantity surveying alumnus.

According to the race website, the Absa Cape Epic must be completed by both members of a two-person team with only 680 teams allowed to ride the race each year. Every edition follows a different route, leading aspiring amateur and professional mountain bikers from around the world through roughly 700 untamed kilometres of unspoiled scenery and up 16 000m of vertical ascent. The race is scheduled to start on October 17.

Louw has been mountain biking for 10 years.

“I have always been a road cyclist but loved the mountain biking scene. When I completed my degree, I got myself a mountain bike and fell in love with it. I had to learn the hard way but eventually, I got the hang of it and really started to enjoy it.”

He said preparing for the race has been a tough and challenging time.

“I was well on track and my fitness was excellent but after testing positive for COVID about two months ago I lost it all and had to be very careful when I got back on the bike.”

Louw said that after getting the all-clear from the doctor, he has been training at full capacity and doing races to improve his form.

“Seraj and I participated in the ‘Imbuko big 5’ cycle challenge together which covers the queen stage for this year’s epic, so we have a feel for each other’s ability, and it went really well. We will continue to train and race up to the Cape Epic, so far it seems like we are back on track.”

Abrahams, who lives in Lansdowne, has also been mountain biking for about ten years.

“I got involved when my neighbour lent me an old ‘Makro special’ to use at our local trails at Tokai. I have been hooked ever since.”

He is excited about the “incredibly tough week of riding”.

“I am looking forward to all the hard hours in training paying off come race week. After all, this is "The ultimate mountain bike race”. 

Written by Ilse Fredericks

Email: Frederickskennediji@cput.ac.za