From sporting heroes to royalty, business leaders to media personalities, the Absa Cape Epic, the world’s most famous mountain bike stage race, attracts celebrities from around the world to make the event a box office hit year after year.
All about the Absa Cape Epic
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.
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.
This year’s powerhouse cyclist, Fran Miller
This year, the race in Cape Town, taking place over 658km from 19-26 March, will be no different. A notable name in the field is Fran Millar, the CEO of British heritage fashion brand Belstaff, as well as one of the most powerful women in cycling.
Her participation in this year’s Cape Epic is made all the more special in that her brother, David Millar, the former Cofidis and Garmin-Sharp rider who dominated stages of the Tour de France, Vuelta a España and Giro d’Italia in the first decade of the new millennium, will be joining her.
The gap in the siblings’ riding prowess could not be much greater, though that is arguably why Fran chose her brother as her partner for the 2023 Absa Cape Epic.
“I’m terrified,” she says. “I’m hoping that his years as a road captain will be what he calls on as opposed to his years focused on winning!”
“We are best friends and have always got on really well, but we have never done a challenge like this together so it’s going to be interesting. The only times we rode together while he was racing, he used to complain about how slow we went and he’s still pretty impatient… so, I’m hoping he’s going to go easy on me.”
When it comes to training, Fran has prioritised getting to grips with the ups and downs of mountain biking. “Whilst I’ve grown up riding a bike I’ve never really mountain biked,” she says. “I do most my in-week training on the turbo doing specific efforts for the technical sections and then a long ride both days of the weekend on my mountain bike. The technical stuff and the climbing is what scares me. We don’t have much of that terrain in London!”
As a CEO, Fran still finds the time to dedicate to training. How she does it? “The only tip I have is discipline beats motivation every time,” she says. “I’ve done the best I can with around 12-14 hours of training most weeks with a couple of big volume weeks in this last phase. I get up early and turbo and the weekends I pretty much dedicate to training.” And if she can do it, so can you. Feeling inspired? Catch the race from the 19-26 March at Cape-Epic.com.