Erik Dekker and Jurgen van den Broeck, two world-class road cyclists who are keen to do some serious mountain biking, will compete in the 2018 Cape Epic.
Dekker, a four-time Tour de France stage winner, has had his sights on a mountain-bike experience for about a year.
“I have followed the Cape Epic for years, but I knew if I wanted to compete I’d have to learn a lot to race for eight days straight,” Dekker said.
“Mountain biking is more than just biking. I had to take some time to gain experience.”
Van den Broeck, regarded as a potential Grand Tour winner, admitted his usual training in Belgium differed from the challenges he would face in the Cape Epic, scheduled for March.
“I really do not have much experience in mountain biking,” he said. “I ride a lot in Belgium, but that is totally different to real racing. That difference makes the challenge enticing.
“We will build up as well as possible in Europe and I’m sure we will be in top shape at the start of the Cape Epic,” he added.