Riders taking on the Absa Cape Epic from Sunday’s Prologue at Meerendal Wine Estate and finishing a week later at Val de Vie Estate in Paarl are watching the weather.
Weather sites predict days of up to 40ºC … and some showers.
Everybody knows the Western Cape is in the grip of a fierce drought and desperately in need of rain, but one group of people in the area at the moment will be scanning the weather reports for a different reason altogether.
They are the riders who are taking on the Absa Cape Epic from Sunday’s Prologue at Meerendal Wine Estate and finishing a week later at Val de Vie Estate in Paarl. In that time they will have covered 691km of Western Cape countryside and gained 15 400m in vertical ascent.
In other words, all they need to make their lives a little more miserable is bad weather.
Well, the long range forecasts have some bad news and some good: generally it looks manageable other than a few very hot days and some strongish winds.
It seems there will be a bit of the latter at Sunday’s prologue in Durbanville where, according to AccuWeather, the southerly wind could be gusting up to 35km/h but generally around 20. It will also get warm as the day progresses, with both yr.no and AccuWeather predicting the temperature will creep over 30ºC.
On Monday the entire race will have decamped to Hermanus for Stage 1 where they can expect temperatures of up to 30ºC (yr.no) and winds averaging at 26km/h but gusting up to 37km/h from the east.
On Tuesday the race leaves Hermanus in temperatures that shouldn’t get above 20ºC in the early morning and heads to Greyton where both yr.no and AccuWeather predict a hot 36ºC. Windguru, however, warns that it will get up to 41ºC. All three sites predict some showers, mainly in the afternoon.
Wednesday is also going to be a scorcher, with all three sites saying it will get up to 36ºC and AccuWeather describing the day as “very hot”. To add insult, there will only be a light breeze around.
Thursday is scheduled to bring a bit of relief as the riders traverse from Greyton to Elgin, where the maximum temperature will be 25ºC and the wind will amount to “light air” as yr.no puts it.
The next two stages are both being held in the Elgin/Grabouw area and Friday should be nice and cool – yr.no has the maximum temperature at 17ºC but AccuWeather a slightly warmer 23ºC. Be warned though, AccuWeather suggests the wind, although only an average 22km/h, could gust up to 59km/h from the east/southeast. There’s also a chance of rain, says yr.no, predicting that 2.2mm of it will fall on the day.
Saturday will dawn nice and chilly with temperatures ranging from 13ºC to 23ºC during the day and only a moderate breeze, but AccuWeather predicts that there might be showers, which could put a dampener on things.
Sunday will start fairly fresh at about 13ºC but should be a balmy 27ºC or so when they arrive in Franschhoek. And the wind prediction for the day is just a “gentle breeze” … not the sort of thing riders will be saying about their ride.
* The 2017 Absa Cape Epic mountain bike stage race takes place from 19 to 26 March and the much anticipated route can be viewed here.