8 days. 647 kilometres. 14,960 metres of altitude and 1,200 participants. The South African Cape Epic calls itself the Tour de France of mountain biking and it’s easy to see why. It’s a gruelling suffer-fest in brutal conditions designed to find the fittest mountain bike rider on the planet.

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Annika Langvad has a flawless record in the race – two entries, two wins, and this year she’ll be looking to complete the hat-trick as part of Specialized racing. This video follows her preparation for the event that is made all the more difficult by the fact she lives in Denmark.

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The Cape Epic is hot, dry and hilly, whereas Denmark is cold, wet and flat. She compensates for this by running up stairs in her local hospital and using the road bike to build up her base fitness. In fact, she thinks that training in the Scandanavian gloop is a good thing as it makes the heat of the Cape Epic seem pleasant!

This year the Cape Epic runs from March 13-20 this year so we will soon find out in all the training has paid off for Langvad.