At the 2020 Swiss Epic, the first international mass participation mountain bike event to happen since the COVID-19 pandemic swept the planet, 13 riders claimed Epic Legend status.
The Epic Series is a global portfolio of best-in-class mountain bike stage races where the unforgettable welcome of inspiring destinations ushers you into a world of premium mountain biking experiences.
Remarkable trails are set against breath-taking scenery and spattered with ruts, mud and dust. Here, true grit, cheers and chatter of chains are the universal language that see you off in search of the next challenging spectacle.
To any rider resolute enough to complete three Epic Series races, including the pinnacle event, the Absa Cape Epic, Epic Legend status is awarded. This status is immortalised in the form of an Epic Legend medal.
At the 2020 Swiss Epic, 13 riders completed their Epic Legend quest when they successfully navigated their way through 320 kilometres of Graubünden’s finest trails and summited 12 250 metres of climbing in just five days.
These riders, who hail from all corners of the globe, formed bonds with other riders from across the world; they experienced trails that many may never have the opportunity to ride, and they were part of an event that has proven that it can, and did, adapt to the “new normal” that has been brought on by a pandemic.
With the Swiss Epic wrapped up and the elation of becoming an Epic Legend still fresh, we caught up with a number of the 13 riders to discuss what the achievement meant to them. Here’s what they had to say:
“I am really happy and proud to be part of a small group who can call themselves Epic Legends. All of the Epic Series races are amazing; Cape Epic was the toughest and Swiss Epic was the most fun because of the alpine trails and landscapes. I can’t wait to race another Epic Series event in the future!”
Jurgen De Witte
“I will never forget the Swiss Epic for two reasons: It was demanding on the mind and the body, and the scenery was magnificent! I can’t wait to bring my family here for a holiday. I am so proud to be part of the first Belgian team to become Epic Legends, alongside Bart! This medal gets a special place in my office so I can see it every day; thank you to the Swiss Epic organisers – you did an amazing job under very tough circumstances!”
Jose Luis Pollo Matteo and Jose Ribas Ferrer
“Jose and I feel amazing to be Epic Legends. Having this medal around our necks makes us realise how tough this has been. All of the races in the Epic Series are different but amazing and it is hard to compare them. The Swiss Epic was great and the organisation was excellent.”
“I am so happy to finish the magnificent Swiss Epic! This was a big investment into my sport with months of preparations but it was worth it; it would be a great pleasure to return to Graubünden in 2021, but first I am going back to South Africa for the Cape Epic to continue the ‘Legend’ “
“I chose to do the Swiss Epic as the final race in my mission to become an Epic Legend because I knew it would be the most technical, and I was right. It was very challenging but so beautiful.
I am extremely proud to call myself an Epic Legend and I’d like to thank my partner, Seb, for helping me with the final piece of the puzzle.”
Fernando Irurre Valderama
“The Swiss Epic was so beautiful and one of the best races I have ever been to. I always ride because I find it fun and even though the Swiss Epic was tough, I still enjoyed it. Becoming an Epic Legend is amazing – it was tough to achieve this target and I was very emotional when I received the medal on the finish line.”
Erno Van Dongen
“Epic Legend is a title that is hard-earned and can never be taken away. Riding all of these Epic Series events across the world has been unforgettable and is simply the best thing that a mountain biker can do.”
The remaining names making up the new additions to the Epic Legend club are:
Felipe Sanz Schevernels
To view the Epic Legends Hall of Fame, please click here.