Schurter, who is the world’s UCI number one-ranked mountain-biker, said his victory at last year’s Epic was “the basis of a perfect season”.
“It really spiced up the soup,” he said. “It helped a lot for the remainder of the season, especially in the World Cup, knowing I had already won a major event.
“It is the biggest stage race in the world to win and something I’m super proud of,” he added.
Following his Epic victory last year, the Swiss went on to win all six legs of the UCI Cross Country World Cup and his fifth Cross Country World Championship.
A week before the Epic this year, on March 10, the first leg of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup will return to Stellenbosch.
“The new schedule is truly perfect for me,” said Schurter. “Having the first World Cup round in my second home is something I am looking forward to.
“I hope this schedule will remain in the years to come,” added Schurter, who will take part in his fifth Cape Epic this year.