The Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour will celebrate its 30th anniversary this year and the Knysna Rotary organising committee will mark the occasion with the introduction of a number of new routes and races.
The Knysna Cycle Tour has grown enormously since its inception in 1987 and now comprises four popular events which will take place on 8 and 9 July, the first weekend of the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival: MTB events, road races, the SPUR Children’s Tour, and the Forest Family Dam Ride.
The MTB event on 8 July is one of the biggest in southern Africa and includes outstanding cycling routes through the Knysna forest. Traditionally the events consisted of four different MTB routes for varying technical abilities - 80 km, 50 km, 30 km and 15 km. This year, the organising committee is changing the 15 km route to an easier, fun ride for all ages, and introducing a 30 km e-bike route.
“We understand that this will be the first electric bike race in the country,” says Race Director Elwin Thompson, “and we are hoping to attract e-bikers from all over South Africa.”
The MTB routes are rated amongst the most scenic in the world and include access to privately owned sections of property that are usually closed to the public. Set up and managed by Leon Evans, known as Dr Evil, they test the skills of competitors to the maximum.
The challenging 109 km road race on Sunday 9 July will follow the route introduced three years ago, which was designed for enthusiastic, competitive roadies. It takes cyclists from Knysna to Sedgefield, Karatara and Barrington, and back to Knysna.
The 50 km road race route is from Knysna to Sedgefield and back along the N2.
This year, for the first time, both these races will include a category for mountain bikes. “We are doing this in response to many requests that we’ve received over the years from cyclists who want to enter both a MTB event on the first day of the tour and a road race the next day, but can only transport one bike to Knysna,” says Thompson. “We are confident that this is going to grow cyclist numbers in both events.”
The SPUR Rotary Knysna Children's Cycle Tour on Sunday 9 July is a fun, safe event for children aged 2 to 10. There are three events for different age groups, all starting and finishing at the Knysna Oyster Festival Grounds in Waterfront Drive.
Another new innovation this year will see the popular Forest Family Dam Ride on Sunday 9 July split into two events: a 20 km and a 30 km ride. Both rides are scenic MTB routes through the Knysna forest and past some of the town’s dams. The 30 km event is for more experienced riders, while the 20 km ride is for MTB riders of all ages and competency, including children aged 12 years and older. They are guided fun rides and will not be timed.
Says Thompson: “We would like to see as many cyclists as possible participating in events on both days of the cycle tour, and our new events and categories will make this much more feasible. There will also be overall prizes for cyclists who enter events on both days.”
The Knysna Cycle Tour is a one of the biggest and most popular events on the national cycling calendar and a highlight of the annual Knysna Oyster Festival.
Online entries open on 4 March 2017. For more information visit www.knysnacycle.co.za.
Follow the Knysna Cycle Tour on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates about all the events.
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Two of last year’s Momentum Weekend Argus Knysna Cycle Tour road race winners, were back on the podium again this year following today’s 115 km event.
In a thrilling sprint finish Stefan Ihlenfeldt, who was third last year, beat defending champion Nolan Hoffman in a time of 2:59:48, by just a second. Third, by a millisecond was Tyler Day. The first 21 riders across the line were bunched from some distance before the finish line and finished just 7 seconds apart.
Twenty-seven-year-old Ihlenfeldt, who has competed in the last six Knysna Cycle Tour road races, was delighted with his win. “The race started off very cold. I think everyone struggled with the below zero temperature, so the race wasn’t too hard from the start as no-one really had the legs. It started getting form about 60 km into the race with small breaks getting away. I was in the last breakaway and we were well represented as Team Lights by Linea with teammates James Tennent and Rohan du Plooy, and that forced the other teams to pull the break back so me and Dirkie Nel could just sit in the bunch and play the waiting game. Dirkie had the timing perfect to get me safely around the last corner, and I managed to pull away.”
Defending ladies champion Anriettte Schoeman, who has competed in 18 Knysna Cycle Tour races and was also Queen of the Mountain today, beat Carmen Buchacher by a second with a time of 03:06:39. Third was Samantha Sanders (03:10:52).
Says Schoeman: “This year they changed the route slightly and cut out Hoekville, which made it a little bit easier but the climbing was still severe. It wasn’t steep, just very long. Luckily I had fresh legs and I stuck with Carmen, who is a very good climber, because I knew that if I could stick with her to the finish, I could beat her in the sprint.
“I really enjoy the race and that’s why I keep coming back every year.
Sanders and Buchacher were second and third to winner Yolande de Villiers in yesterday’s 80 km MTB event.
Carel Bosman, Sponsorships Manager for Momentum, one of the two naming sponsors of the cycle tour, said that he was very pleased with the events this year.
“There are two key things that make us really excited about being associated with the Knysna Cycle Tour. Firstly, Momentum is all about financial wellness, but we believe that your health is your wealth. People who are moderately active claim 50% less than those who are not, so we strongly promote an active lifestyle. It was fantastic to see thousands of cyclists going out this weekend and being proactive about their health. The other thing that makes this event the perfect fit for Momentum is the family factor; seeing youngsters, the elderly and everyone in between competing in the different races. There’s pretty much a race for everyone and it’s not about winning, it’s really just about being active.”
Marketing Director of the Knysna Cycle Tour, Andrew Finn confirmed that the event is growing and that there was a record number of about 6,000 cyclists competing in the MTB and road races this weekend, which is about 10% more than last year.
“Despite extremely cold conditions today and yesterday, the cyclists enjoyed themselves and their families and friends turned up in good numbers to support them at the start and finish, spend time on the field watching the SPUR Children’s Tour and basically enjoy themselves in the winter sunshine.
“The Family Forest Dam Ride was fully prescribed this year and is becoming a must-do event for families attending the annual Oyster Festival,” he said.
The Festival continues until 10 July. Visit www.oysterfestival.co.za for the full programme.
Barry de Kock and George Fitzpatrick are just about halfway to their goal of cycling from Beitbridge to Knysna. The pair – who have been friends since they both worked for SAA many years ago – have undertaken the journey to raise funds for cataract operations, sponsoring a guide dog, and cornea transplants, through the Knysna Lion’s Club.
The original idea was the 62-year-old De Kock’s. He wanted to do a mountain bike ride from Beitbridge (on the border of South Africa and Zimbabwe), to Cape Point via Sedgefield and Cape Agulhas, the most southern tip of Africa.
After some persuasion, Fitzpatrick (69 – who has been managing the finish of the Lion’s Pennypinchers Karoo to Coast since 2005 – decided to join him. According to Fitzpatrick’s wife Sue – who is chairperson of Lions Knysna – he has seen the response and delight of someone that has had a cataract removed. “Also, he is so involved with the Lions and Karoo to Coast, that they decided to raise money for the Lions sight projects - hence the title ‘Cycling for Sight’,” she says.
The ride will be some 2 060km long with around 20 110m of climbing, and should take them just over a month to complete. They are riding mountain bikes and plan to stick to dirt roads as far possible, although certain sections necessitate some tar miles.
To follow their journey and to donate to the cause, check out their official Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Cycling-For-Sight-Border-to-Coast-1184494934916848/).
Lion’s Pennypinchers Karoo to Coast
Entries are now closed. Substitutions are open but riders need to find someone who wants to sell their entry through social media platforms. There are LIMITED reserved Karoo to Coast entries for those who are still entering the Pennypinchers Dr Evil Classic. This three-day stage event (72.4km day one, 50.2km day two, 37.8km day three) is the ideal warm up event for Karoo to Coast.
The RECM Knysna 200 is now less than a month away and the chances to join the Garden Route Events crew and the RECM Asset Management team for a weekend of mountain biking bliss in Trail Town South Africa are slipping through your fingers.
Hosted in the idyllic Garden Route town of Knysna the RECM Knysna 200 boasts a lagoon side race village; a singletrack packed route, which is both challenging but manageable; and a vacation-like vibe. The relaxed atmosphere is of course aided by the Youth Day Public Holiday which falls the day before the race, allowing you to get to Knysna in your own time rather than rushing after work.
Patric Mosterd of Garden Route Events has gone to great lengths to put together a route which cuts out most of Knysna’s toughest climbs but includes most of the area’s best trails. For those familiar with the mountain biking in the town which is quickly becoming known as Trail Town South Africa will know that the routes around Knysna feature a climb or two – so cutting out the most strenuous of them is no mean feat. Stage 1 of the 2016 RECM Knysna 200 in particular has benefited from Mosterd’s extensive knowledge of the forest trails as he’s cut two mean climbs from the day’s route to ensure you finish the stage with a massive grin on your face.
The daily start times of 09:00, barring Stage 3 of course which starts at 08:30, adds to the relaxed vibe and allows the milky winter sun to rise a little higher in the sky – hopefully ensuring the starts aren’t too chilly. If you’re of the racing frame of mind don’t think it’s all about chilling at the RECM Knysna 200 there are team and solo race categories with great prizes up for grabs too.
The three stages each feature a unique start venue, allowing you to explore more fantastic Knysna singletracks without having to ride strenuous distances to do so. Each of the starts are within 20km from the centre of Knysna and are clearly signposted off the N2. There will be secure parking available at the start venues and Avis will be providing a complimentary shuttle to take you back to your vehicle from the race village.
For the foodies there’s a treat in store too; the race buffet lunches will be served at the Tapas Bistro while dinners will be hosted by Sirocco. The restaurants are within a two minute stroll of each other in the heart of the picturesque Thesen Island Harbour Town.
If you haven’t entered the 2016 RECM Knysna 200 yet you can do so and find out all about the race at www.recmknysna200.co.za. But be warned entries close on the 30th of May, so don’t delay. You can book accommodation for the duration of your stay in Knysna too by clicking here. In addition to three days of fantastic mountain biking, with two water points per day, scrumptious lunches and dinners and a race garment from Cape Storm if you enter the RECM Knysna 200 you’ll go into a lucky draw to win a weekend’s stay at the Endless Vineyards boutique lodge on Windekrans Wine Estate.
RECM Knysna 200
Dates: 17 – 19 June 2016
|Stage 1||Stage 2||Stage 3|
|Start:||Knysna Elephant Park||Quinta da Montanha||Harkerville|
|Climbing:||1 550m||1 350m||1 000m|
|Finish:||Tapas Bistro||Tapas Bistro||Tapas Bistro|
Race Village: Tapas Bistro, Thesen Island Harbour Town
Entry Fees: Team R8 600 | Solo R4 800 (Close 30 May 2016)
Facebook: Garden Route Events
Online entries for the 2016 Momentum Weekend Argus Knysna Cycle Tour are open and if you enter online before 4 May you stand a chance of winning the Early Bird Entry prize of two nights for two people at the Simola Hotel, Country Club & Spa in Knysna.
Tour director Elwin Thompson said that the Knysna Rotary Club, which coordinates the tour every year is looking forward to the biggest and best event ever.
“The race, which celebrates its 29th year in 2016, has grown enormously since its inception and now comprises four very popular events – MTB events, road races, the SPUR Children’s Tour and the Forest Family Dam Ride. These take place on 2 and 3 July over the first weekend of the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival (1-10 July 2016).”
The MTB event is one of the biggest in southern Africa and includes outstanding cycling routes through the Knysna forest. The 50 km and 80 km MTB races are official premier seeding events of the 2017 Cape Town Cycle Tour.
There are four different MTB races in total for varying technical abilities - 80 km, 50 km, 30 km and 15 km, and routes include access to privately owned sections of property that are usually closed to the public.
Says Thompson: “The routes are set up and managed by Leon Evans, known as Dr Evil and, while cyclists will be riding through one of the most scenic areas in the Garden Route, they will also have their skills tested to the maximum.
“The 109 km road race follows a new route introduced in 2014 which was designed for enthusiastic, competitive roadies and will keep you working all the way to the finish line.”
The route takes cyclists from Knysna to Sedgefield, Karatara and Barrington, and back to Knysna. The 50 km route is from Knysna to Sedgefield and back along the N2.
The SPUR Rotary Knysna Children's Cycle Tour is a safe, scenic race for children from 2 to 10 years of age and consists of three events which start and finish at the Knysna Oyster Festival Grounds, for 2-4 year olds, 5-7 year olds and 8-10 year olds.
The successful 25 km Forest Family Dam Ride on Sunday, 3 July, is a relaxed MTB ride. It is open to a limited number of riders, 12 years and over with some experience, and takes riders past Knysna’s three dams and through scenic forest areas.
The Knysna Cycle Tour is a one of the biggest and most popular events on the cycling calendar and a highlight of the Knysna Oyster Festival.
Says Thompson: “There is an incredible vibe in Knysna over this weekend as families from all over South Africa pour into Knysna for a weekend of cycling for mom, dad and the kids. Before and after events there’s lots to do at the Festival Grounds and in the Knysna area. We are looking forward to a great event this year.”
To enter the race online go to www.knysnacycle.co.za. All the information about entry fees is available here as well as travel packages for cyclists and their families travelling from Johannesburg for the Knysna Cycle Tour.
This year, for the second time, cyclists can Pedal with Purpose and raise funds while doing the Knysna Cycle Tour with a special charity entry. Cyclists purchasing a Hospice Charity Entry will receive:
• Preferential seeding
• A Hospice 'goodie bag' filled with fantastic cycling goodies including an awesome cycle shirt
• VIP registration at the Hospice stall
Follow the Knysna Cycle Tour on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates about all the events.