Australian working dads, Minter Barnard (46) and Luke Beuchat (45), will be tackling the Absa Cape Epic this year, riding for team Velosure. These two young dads are no strangers to the gruelling 624-kilometer mountain bike race and are aiming to finish top 10 in the Masters Category. They will be racing against the likes of defending champions Massimo Debertolis and Ondrej Fojtik and 17 World Cup winner Thomas Frischknecht. Barnard’s cycling journey took off after he completed the Cape Epic in 2011 and he went on to become the first rider to receive the title of Epic Legend for completing the Epic Series; Cape Epic, The Pioneer and the Swiss Epic. Beuchat completed the Cape Epic in 2015 and has other multiple stage races under his belt such as the Cape to Cape and Tour of Good Hope.
The race begins on March 17 with the time-trial prologue at the University of Cape Town and is set to finish on March 24 at Val de Vie Estate in Paarl. The route changes annually and this year 1300 riders are expected to participate. This eight-day challenge will have riders climbing 16650 meters of rugged mountain trails, bone-jarring dual tracks, windswept gravel roads and sand. “The Cape Epic is obviously the biggest mountain bike race on the planet so we’ve upped our training,” says Beuchat. Juggling everyday life with six kids and training is no easy task. The duo’s lunchtime cardio and core sessions are known as ‘Vegter’ sessions – meaning Warrior in Afrikaans. These intense sessions include a rigorous regime of physical training exercises with 30 sets of stairs, 200 sit-ups, 200 push-ups and the infamous redback spider plank all done around Sydney Harbour in preparation for the 100km race stages.
Beuchat mentions that training for the Cape Epic involves a lot of sacrifices and it is important to realise that it means sacrifices for your partner and your kids as well. Both riders have tremendous appreciation for the support from their family and friends. The Velosure team’s journey will be featured on Velosure’s social media platforms as they hope to inspire other working dads to stay fit and healthy.