The lottery for entries closed on Saturday and successful riders have been notified.
Riders from an unprecedented 62 countries applied for entries to the 2015 ABSA Cape Epic and international applicants amounted to 58 percent of the total. Breaking the 2010 record of 51 nationalities represented at the Cape Epic.
A total of 1 200 riders – in 600 two-person teams – take part in the Absa Cape Epic each year. Last year 37% of participants were from outside South Africa.
The lottery for entries to the 2015 Epic closed on Saturday night and the draw took place on Tuesday evening. Successful riders were notified immediately and have until the end of June to accept.
The Absa Cape Epic is oversubscribed each year and this year the 100 early bird entries for 2015 – sold on a first come, first served basis on the day after the 2014 event finished – were taken up in seconds: “It was pretty much instantaneous,” said race founder Kevin Vermaak. “A lot of people were ready and counting the seconds until they opened.”
Epic spokesperson Chris Whitfield said: “The early bird entries sell out more quickly every year, a reflection of the increasing demand for an entry. As one of the two tranches, the early bird system has been used annually since 2009 and gives riders the security of an early entry – and an all-important 12 months of training time.”Whitfield added: “Since the first Cape Epic in 2004, the race has been completely sold out in record times. After the 2005 event was sold out in less than five hours, a public lottery system was introduced and has been used every year since. For next year’s event, 69% of lottery applicants have never registered for the lottery previously and 72% of lottery applicants have never ridden the Absa Cape Epic.”
Five percent of the applicants have completed three or more Epics and are therefore members of the exclusive Amabubesi club. Of the total lottery applicants, 14% were women.
“Successful applicants received an invitation via email to accept the entry and make payment,” said Whitfield. “Unsuccessful applicants will receive an email explaining how to join the waiting list. Successful applicants must accept their invitations and pay the full team registration fee by the end of June.”
Professional and national riders can still apply for a wildcard entry and those wishing to support one of the official charities, can buy a limited number of charity entries. A limited number of entries are also available for media.