Exciting news for mountain bikers in South Africa… “Destination mountain biking” has evolved with the introduction of a reimagined event, the Knysna Bull. The new 3-day stage race is set for the 23rd to the 26th of February 2017 and is billed as the final Absa Cape Epic preparation race, but with a magical Knysna twist.
The Knysna Bull is the reincarnation of the popular Knysna 200, moved to a more favourable slot in the mountain biking event calendar – when the Garden Route weather is at its best and the mountain biking community is at its most vibrant. The event will feature three stages of roughly 65km, with stage starts outside Knysna and all finishes on Thesen Island. An urban prologue on the 23rd along the streets and lanes of Thesen Island will kick off the racing in style. Although the racing is expected to be fierce throughout, the Knysna Bull is suitable for everyone. While the elite riders and top amateurs use it as a final tune up ahead of the gruelling Absa Cape Epic, riders of all levels will enjoy the Knysna Bull as they will be treated to superb forest riding, a relaxed lagoon side race village and a weekend away in #TrailTownSA, the capital of destination mountain biking.
Off the bike the luxury of Knysna will take the sting out of the fast paced riding for the leaders and add to the enjoyment of the riders further down the field. Riders are encouraged to book themselves in to one of Knysna’s many top class hotels, bed and breakfasts or self-catering apartments. Being based in Knysna means riders can stay in luxury and sleep in comfort, which will definitely maximise their performance and enjoyment on the trails. The abundance of quality accommodation also enables riders to bring the whole family along, for support and to enjoy a fantastic weekend in Knysna, known as the home of adventure. The 65km stages mean that the days’ racing is set to finish with enough time to enjoy some of Knysna’s other attractions on each of the race days too.
The final routes for the Knysna Bull will be confirmed closer to the event, but riders can expect to experience the best of the area’s plentiful trails and singletrack as Knysna Tourism ups the ante to prove their tag-line of #TrailTownSA. The event will also form a key part in the region’s bid to attract mountain bikers outside of events. Along with the singletrack sections riders will be treated to spectacular indigenous forest riding, some testing climbs and exhilarating descents as route director, Patric Mosterd showcases his favourite Knysna Forest tracks and trails. In addition to the established trails Mosterd will also be working closely with the Knysna Sports School in the build up to the Knysna Bull to open up new singletracks especially for the event.
With the Knysna Bull taking place three weeks prior to the Absa Cape Epic it’s the perfect final opportunity to test the legs before tapering for the biggest event on the South African mountain biking calendar. The late February dates also mean the forest trails are likely to be at their driest, so they’ll be kinder on the bikes. The absence of rocky trails also make the Knysna Bull a safer pre-Epic race as the flowing trails aren’t as likely to cause accident or injury.
If you’d like to secure your spot in the inaugural Knysna Bull you’ll be excited to note that the first 20 entrants will receive a special early bird entry price of R4 200 while the standard entry fee of R4 950 will apply thereafter. The entry includes three full days of spectacular riding, an exhilarating urban prologue, dinner on Thursday the 23rd of February and all lunches from Friday the 24th of February to Sunday the 26th. With Cape Storm confirming their continued support of the race previously known as the Knysna RECM200, riders will also receive a jam packed goodie bag with race apparel and gifts from the Knysna Bull sponsors. To find out more or enter online, from the 9th of September 2016 please visit www.knysnabull.bike today.
Fast Facts: 2017 Knysna Bull
Dates: 23 to 26 February 2017
Stages: Urban Prologue plus Three ±65km Trail Stages
Race Village: Thesen Island, Knysna
Entry Fee: First 20 entries: R4 200 | Entry: R4 950
Entries Open: 19 September 2016