Plans for this year’s Knysna Cycle Tour are on track and online entries will open on 1 March 2019. The event will take place in the scenic Garden Route town over the weekend of Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 June as part of the annual Knysna Oyster Festival.
The tour is one of the iconic sporting events of the festival and has been running for over 30 years.
Andrew Finn, marketing director for the Knysna Cycle Tour, said that the 2019 event will provide an exciting weekend of cycling for the whole family. “The main events - the MTB Races, the Road Races and the SPUR Children’s fun ride - will be back to thrill and challenge the thousands of participants who flock to Knysna every year for the tour,” said Finn.
“This year we’ve relooked at our routes and made some exciting changes, particularly to the longer road race for elites and experienced roadies, which is also a seeding race for the 2020 Cape Town Cycle Tour. This 104 km route is much more scenic now with the inclusion of Buffalo Bay and a section of the historic Seven Passes road between Barrington and Karatara, a 3 km stretch of gravel road.”
With a total ascent of 1,588 m and a maximum elevation of 239 m, the 104 km road race route will also be more challenging than ever.
Says Finn: “The route will take riders on a thrilling, scenic adventure through one of the most picturesque sections of the Garden Route, revealing stunning views of ocean and beach, mountains and pristine forest along the way.”
The 50 km road race will follow the same route as previous years, from Knysna to Sedgefield and back along the N2.
There are also some changes to the MTB events which consist of two premier races – the 80 km race for elite riders and the 50 km event for experienced MTB cyclists – and two family events - the 30 km and 15 km rides.
“This year, three of these events have been reinvigorated with changed to the routes and new challenges,” enthuses Finn. “The premier events will have more sections in pristine forest areas and more single track. Both these races as well as the 30 km race will descend via Eastford to the Oakhill School cycle track, thus avoiding the SImola Hill descent.”
The route for the 15 km race, which was introduced in 2017, will remain the same. This race is for children under 16 and their families. Both the 30 km and 15 km races will be priced for families, with only one adult in the group paying the full price and the others paying just 50% of the entry fee.
Says Finn: “We are very excited by our new routes. We wanted to make the events more challenging for both those competing in the Cycle Tour for the first time, as well as our regular participants and I think we’ve succeeded. These races are set to become iconic, bucket-list events on the national cycling calendar.”
The third event of the weekend is the Children’s Fun Race on Sunday 23 June for kids aged 10 and under. This popular race will take place on the Knysna High School sports field in three age group categories: 2-4; 5-7; and 8-10. There will be goodie bags for all entrants and medals for all finishers.
The Knysna Cycle Tour is organised by local volunteers and is the biggest fundraiser for Knysna Rotary, raising substantial amounts of money for local charities every year.
All events can be entered online. Race packs should be collected in Knysna at Registration on Friday 21 June for all events and on Saturday 22 January for the road races and the children’s race.