Martin to race Absa Cape Epic in order to raise funds for world bicycle relief


Anka Martin from the USA, an established Absa Cape Epic favourite who
completed the event three times before, will be returning this year to
participate in the 2011 Magical and Untamed African MTB Race. She will be
taking part together with her good friend and fellow downhill racer Tracy
Moseley from the UK (the Current DH World Champion). 
On why she returns to the Absa Cape Epic year after year, Martin responds:
"I keep asking myself that same question, but this year however we are
riding the Cape Epic for Wold Bicycle Relief in order to raise money so we
can donate bikes to ten schools in Zambia. I missed last year's event as I
participated three years in a row prior to that and needed a break and I was
still paying off the costs incurred from the previous events." 
Martin believes that together with Moseley they make a great team: "We both
love to ride our bikes and enjoy going downhill pretty fast. We're great
friends and we can laugh and make fun of ourselves. We're not taking
ourselves too seriously, and we're doing it for a great cause. As long as we
have fun bombing down the hills and passing a few guys, we'll be happy."
Due to the fact that the two ladies live on different continents, they are
not able to train together. "We get to ride and race downhill and compete in
endurance races throughout the year, but Tracy lives in the UK and I live in
the US, so we didn't get any riding time together for the Absa Cape Epic.
We'll probably get to go on a few fun rides when we arrive in Cape Town next
month," says Martin. 
Martin's training programme has been rather different than in previous
years. She explains: "It started off with a very intensive yoga teachers
training course for six weeks, which gave me a great base to build from.
Then I went to New Zealand for about six weeks where I rode the most
amazing, technical, crazy trails ever - no specific training, just riding
hard every day. For the last few weeks I've just been getting in some longer
road rides on my mountain bike and doing tons of yoga. Tracy and I are also
competing in the Cape Verde Islands. After that, it's straight to Cape Town
for some more long rides in the heat under African skies."
In terms of Martin's diet, she says it consists mainly of loads of veggies
and potatoes (she is a vegetarian). "Potatoes are my choice of food when
riding! For the past couple of weeks I've been cutting back on alcohol and
dark chocolate - my two vices. I just try to eat healthy, organic, fresh
foods, and loads of avocado and beetroot. Nothing too crazy - one must just
make sure you eat enough when you're doing so much training - as long as
it's fresh, nutritious food."
According to Martin it takes determination, stubbornness, a great sense of
adventure and an even greater sense of humour to successfully complete the
Absa Cape Epic. "It also helps if you like to be on your bike for extended
periods at a time. It's very motivating to be racing for a reason; in our
case, to support the World Bicycle Relief. To other participants I would say
that they should bring their sense of humour and loads of chamois cream.
Young athletes should get outside, appreciate the beauty of nature and just
have fun on their bikes. Never grow up! If you're having fun, everything
else will follow."
Martin is also fortunate to have her photographer husband at the Absa Cape
Epic, but they only manage to see each other for about 20 minutes every day.
"He is very supportive, but also extremely busy with work during the event.
It's kind of frustrating, because I know he's out there, but he can't help
me with anything when I'm completely exhausted. He has to focus on his job
and get all the images out. It's still really comforting to know that he can
come whizzing by on a motorbike at any time with some supportive words.
That's usually my highlight during those long days that can get pretty
challenging at times."
With such a passion for riding her bike, Martin dedicates most of her time
to it. "There's nothing better than exploring new trails. It's the ultimate
freedom. When I'm not on my bike, I teach Vinyasa yoga. Other than that I
love to travel, cook, camp, sew, read, eat and to snowboard in winter."
Dedicating as much as she can in order to raise awareness and funds for the
World Bicycle Relief charity, her other plans for 2011 include racing the
South African National DH championships, she wants a podium finish at the
Mega Avalanche and at the Mountain of Hell Enduro DH event in France, she
wants to take her yoga practise to the next level and get her 500 hour
teachers training certification. Martin further wants to race the Masters DH
World Championships in Brazil, she is considering the BC Bike race in Canada
as well as the La Ruta stage race in Costa Rica. "Other than that, I just
want to be healthy, happy and ride endless sweet single track trails with my
husband Sven."
From 27 March to 3 April, all eyes will be on the Western Cape as the
world's top riders vie for position in what is billed to be the most
competitive event in the race's history. Mountain biking enthusiasts not
participating in the Absa Cape Epic are invited to enter the Cape Times
Vigne-a-Vigne mountain bike race. The race promises participants
breathtaking scenery and spectacular mountain biking terrain, and cyclists
will be given the opportunity to enter either the 50km or 27km challenges.
Interested riders can register online at
The Cape Times Lourensford Vineyard Run is a unique trail running race
offering a choice of an 8 or 18km route. The Vineyard Run (also on 3 April
2011) will provide participants with beautiful vistas and numerous climbs
through the idyllic and picturesque Lourensford Wine Estate. Interested
parties can enter online at for more details and to see where the riders are online
during the race. 


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