The Southern Cross Charity Ride the Last Lions Of the Absa Cape Epic

Cape Epic

The “Southern Cross” is a 1600km, 15 day Mountain Bike route with 23 000m of climbing which showcases the Western Capes unique geographic diversity, its rugged mountains, remote deserts, scenic passes and pristine coastline.  The ride starts in historic Stellenbosch on 16th November 2019.

The rider’s goal is to complete the Southern Cross loop to kick off their Absa Cape Epic 2020 base training whilst bringing awareness and raise important funds for both the Kingsley Holgate Foundation (KHF) and Blood Lions.

The riders and organiser’s are Hannele Steyn and Mike Nixon who will be supported by Land Rover, New Property Ventures, Passion4Wholeness, Maxe Premium Automotive Accessories, PVM and some tremendous riding kit by PAVE sports

Hannele and Mike will be pairing up for next year’s Cape Epic 2020 they are both “Last Lions” – being the “Last Lioness” and Mike one of three “Last Lions” who have both completed all 16 previous Absa Cape Epic’s.

Some staggering statistics about the Last Lions

Since its launch in 2004 the Absa Cape Epic has traversed a staggering 12 126km of untamed terrain spread across 129 stages, including 11 Prologues and two mid-race time-trials. Riders who took part in every edition would have negotiated an acrophobic 251 967m of vertical ascent. Think about that for a moment…

Astonishingly, four people have completed all 16 Absa Cape Epics: Craig Beech, John Gale, Mike Nixon and Hannele Steyn. On 28 February 2004, all four of them were among the 550 riders that gathered in the dawn light of Knysna ready to embark on a ride into the unknown. They’ve been regulars ever since and have witnessed the race grow and evolve into the world-class event it is today – the pinnacle of mountain bike staging racing.

The Fabulous Four – Last Lions

As the years roll by the Fabulous Four will eventually whittle down until there’s only one left standing – the Last Lion.

Absa Cape Epic Last Lion Trophy

For the first time in the history of the Absa Cape Epic two of the Last Lions will be riding together as a team in 2020.

Hannele is both SA MTB champion and Triathlon World Champion and has also been a previous winner of the Absa Cape Epic and has the prestigious “Hannele Steyn” trophy given out in her name in honor of Absa Cape Epic’s best performing African woman rider.

Hannele Steyn

Mike Nixon is well known for his adventures, having completed the 7 Summits including Everest as expedition rider for the Kingsley Holgate Foundation for over 12 years, he has mountain biked African Rift Valley,  and cycled with the KHF Team to the Geographic Centre Point of the Continent in the Republic of Congo and to Africa’s extreme Eastern point in Somalia, a number of which were world firsts.

Mike Nixon

The charities being supported are Kingsley Holgate Foundation and Blood Lions and Passion4Wholeness Food Fund. (P4W)




Bank: First National Bank (South Africa)

Account name: Kingsley Holgate Africa Foundation

Account number: 62398886675

Branch: Eshowe, 220230

SWIFT Number: FIRNZAJJ (for international payments)



You can guide them to the Blood Lions website as there’s a ‘Donate Now’ button:

Or you can send them directly to our PayPal donations portal with this link:


The Route

1600km , 23 000m of climbing over 15 days