• Cadel Evans and George Hincapie at the 2012 Tour de France. (Getty)Source: Getty
Cadel Evans and George Hincapie are set to get the band back together again but this time it's on the dirt at the 2017 Absa Cape Epic.
Cycling Central

Absa Cape Epic
21 Nov 2016 - 8:40 PM  UPDATED 21 Nov 2016 - 9:50 PM

The former road team-mates will battle the tough South African terrain in the masters MTB category with the BMC Absa Racing Team.

Australia's Evans (40), is the 2011 Tour de France winner while America’s Hincapie (43) is a 17-time Tour de France finisher.

“Ever since I first heard about the Absa Cape Epic, I have wanted to try it. But they tell me it’s very hard,” said Evans about the grueling eight-day mountain bike stage race which starts at Meerendaal, Western Cape, on 19 March 2017.

Evans started his career as a mountain biker and won the World Cup in 1998 and 1999. He turned to road racing after placing seventh in the men's cross-country mountain bike race at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. After two second-placed finishes in the Tour de France, Evans won the event in 2011.

After two second-placed finishes in the Tour de France, Evans won the event in 2011.

“I am a racer, but we are competing against far more experienced riders so we have to be realistic,” Evans said. “If George and I can put up with each other, and race hard without any major mishaps, that will be good.

“I have not competed seriously since February 2015. For training reasons, I will try to get some competition in before the Absa Cape Epic.”

Hincapie, who remains a legendary figure in American cycling despite later admitting to doping when he was a trusted lieutenant to Lance Armstrong while at the Motorola and US Postal Service teams, said he was roped into racing the event by Evans.

“Cadel made me do it," Hincapie said. And it looks like it’s going to be an amazing adventure."

“Troy (de Haas, BMC team manager) sent us some videos on the race to start visualising and preparing over the next months, but that’s about it.

“| have always enjoyed riding off-road but have never really raced it, except just with mates at home.”

Neither have ever raced in an MTB team event but both riders said they were looking forward to the experience.

“Should I be worried?” Evans said. “It will be my first time in South Africa. That alone will be a great experience.”