Anne and Nicole were unbeatable last week. Each of the eight day sections went to the Dutch-Swiss GHOST team.

This triumph was last achieved in 2021 by Laura Stigger and Sina Frei. Mona Mitterwallner and Candice Lill took second place in the final classification - just as confidently - ahead of Sofia Gomez Villafane and Samara Sheppard.

What is the Absa Cape Epic?

The Absa Cape Epic is the most televised mountain bike race in the world. It is an eight-stage race, classified as hors catégorie by the UCI making it a big highlight in the professional racer’s calender. Even though it is a very strenuous race, it is open not only to professional riders, but also for amateurs. Each team consists of two members, who need to complete each stage together. The route of 2024 will be 617 km long with an elevation gain of 16.500m. It usually is a mix of challenging traverses of fynbos valleys, majestic mountain ranges, forests, coastlines and flourishing vineyards.


Although the GHOST girls were at their personal best throughout and secured every stage win until the final stage, the top two teams were separated by less than four minutes in the overall standings. At the Cape Epic, such a narrow lead can quickly disappear into thin air.

Anne Terpstra

Cannondale and Specialized gave us such a tough battle this week.

It was really tough, so it's great to be standing here as the winner of the Absa Cape Epic

Anne Terpstra


In the following section we will divide the race into the different stages, that will be updated with the results every day.

Prologue - Sunday, March 17, 2024

Distance: 26km ; Climbing: 700m

Start: Lourensford Wine Estate

The Prologue was a full success for Anne Terpstra and Nicole Koller! After the first 12 km mark, they really found their pace and extended their split times. The short track of 26 km and steep climbs suited them well. They reached the finish line with a strong time of 1:14h - putting them in the orange leaders jersey for Stage 1.

Stage 1 – Monday, March 18, 2024

Distance: 88km, Climbing: 2450m

Start and Finish: Saronsberg, Tulbagh
With Stage 1, the Cape Epic kicks off like a classic MTB race with a "mass start." Despite challenging conditions through early morning sun and dust clouds, Nicole Koller and Anne Terpstra managed to pull ahead right from the start. Closely followed by Mona Mitterwallner and Candice Lill, they led for a long time, then tactically stuck to the rear wheels of their competitors, only to leave them behind in a sprint finish. With 4:25:42 in time, they are still leading the Cape Epic - we will see them racing in orange again on Stage 2!

Stage 2 – Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Distance: 97km, Climbing: 2200m

Start and Finish: Saronsberg, Tulbagh

Stage 2 was another success for the Ladies on GHOST! They started in the leaders group and managed to stay in the lead throughout most of the day. While a lot of teams had some drama with punctures Anne Terpstra and Nicole Koller remained unscathed. In the final 5km of the stage they started a sprint attack that destroyed the Cannondale Team. Congratulations to another stage win and yet another day in orange!

Stage 3 – Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Distance: 94km, Climbing 2100m

Start: Saronsberg, Tulbagh

Finish: CPUT Wellington

Day 3 and yet another stage win for our strong team! The sun was scathing from the sky, making it hot and dusty. Luckily all hydration spots were successful and they were able to stay well hydrated. After 4 hours and 31 minutes they finished the stage as winners before Cannondale Factory Racing and Toyota-Specialized-NinetyOne. Therefore they will remain in the orange leadersjersey on Stage 4.

Stage 4 – Thursday, March 21, 2024

Distance: 88km, Climbing 3000m

Start and Finish: CPUT Wellington

Due to heat conditions stage 4 was adjusted to 77km and 2500m of climbing. Yet it was still very hot and dusty on the trails. Luckily the ladies on GHOST were able to conquer the sun exposed parts of the stage early in the shade of the morning. The leading teams stayed together for most of the stage, making it a very tight and exciting finish. Toyota Specialized NinetyOne put some pressure on, but Anne Terpstra and Nicole Koller were able to answer with some great tactics and even better legs of power! Another stage win in the books!

Stage 5 – Friday, March 22, 2024

Distance: 70km, Climbing 1750m

Start and Finish: CPUT Wellington

Stage 5 and still a winning streak of 100%! Anne Terpstra and Nicole Koller are definitely dominating the UCI women's field of the Absa Cape Epic. They know their strengths, know their tactics and really know how to win with a smile! We are looking forward to yet another day in orange!

Stage 6 – Saturday, March 23, 2024

Distance: 87km, Climbing 2300m

Start and Finish: Stellenbosch

Anne Terpstra and Nicole Koller finished with EPIC Smiles on this Stage 6 win! They are enjoying the well known trails around Stellenbosh and the flowy conditions. One more stage to go - the ladies are eager to win and have the right mindset! Let's tune in again for the final stage on Sunday!

Anne Terpstra

Today was so cool! It is really, really tough! But again, we can stick to our plan and everything worked out. It's so crazy we can decide to make a move technically or physically - everything worked. It's unbelievable.

Anne Terpstra

Stage 6 and 7


Distance: 87 km, altitude difference: 2300m

Start and finish: Stellenbosch


Distance: 67 km, altitude difference: 2000m

Start and finish: Stellenbosch

The GHOST duo went into the final stage unbeaten but with a lead of just 3:51 going into the final day, knowing full well that the slightest defect or crash would ruin their dominant streak and bury any hopes of overall victory. "The race was certainly boring in terms of the pure results lists, but anyone who followed the race saw that it was the highest quality women's field in the history of the Cape Epic. All the experts agreed that this means a new era in the UCI Women's Elite category and that the overall victory is probably even higher than it already is," said Thomas Wickles after the final stage. Thanks to their technical superiority and successes in the sprint, the team around the two newcomers was able to save a little more energy over the week and thus add another victory at the end of the week. In the Grand Finale, the rivals were visibly weaker and Anne Terpstra and Nicole Koller were even able to double their overall lead with another stage win and visibly enjoyed the final kilometres.

Gold for Anne Terpstra and Nicole Koller

The team finished the race without any faults in 30h 56min with a lead of 8:36min. The World Cup kicks off in Brazil in mid-April with two rounds near Sao Paolo, before the first World Cup in Europe takes place in Nove Mesto at the end of May.

Photo: Absa cape epic & nickmuzik

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