Thousands of cyclists turned up at the start of this morning’s Knysna Cycle Tour road races despite chilly, wet conditions and, according to Marketing Manager Andrew Finn, speaking on behalf of the organisers, Knysna Rotary, the event went off smoothly.
The event followed yesterday’s MTB races, the opening event of the annual Knysna Oyster Festival.
First time winner of the Elite men’s 116 km race, 28-year-old Clint Hendricks (ProTouch) said it was a cold start but not too early and the race was “pretty aggressive” with lots of great riders and pro cycling teams supporting it.
Hendricks’ winning time was 2:56:10. He beat Nolan Hoffman (Team Enza) (2:57:26) and Rainhardt Marais (Alpha Bodyworks) who was a split second behind Hoffman.
Says Hendricks: “We came here with five riders, lots of sprinters, not so many climbers, so we had our work cut out today. There were lots of flurry attacks and we just had to be active. Eventually myself and Nolan (Hoffman) rode across to a big group that got a big gap and there we just tried to keep it controlled. I attacked at the bottom of the climb and I had good legs and kept it all the way to the line.”
The race featured a new route this year with a total ascent of 1,351 m and a 2,1 km section of gravel on the Seven Passes Road.
“The gravel section was very interesting. It put something different into the race and I was open minded about it. For some reason I was very relaxed and calm the whole day. There was not a lot of pressure on the team or me to win the race. There were some good lines on the gravel that you could follow so it’s not really dangerous. Obviously, the rain made it a bit soft, but it was pretty nice.”
Hendricks and his teammates are flying to Europe for six weeks next Saturday to do a tour in Poland then spend a couple of weeks in Portugal before the African Games in August in Morocco.
Winner of the Elite women’s race, Tiffany Keep said that this was her first Knysna Cycle Tour event but she will definitely be back for more. She beat Lucy James (317:49) and Helen Gebreyesus (3:25:10).
Marketing Director of the Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour, Andrew Finn said that the weekend of cycling events had gone extremely well, despite the wet and windy conditions. “Yesterday’s conditions were perfect for the mountain bikers because it wasn’t too wet but today there was lots of rain. It didn’t seem to dampen spirits and we were very pleased with the turnout and felt the event went smoothly.
“The SPUR Children’s Cycle Tour was lots of fun although the rain kept some families in bed this morning.”
All the results from the weekend’s races are on www.racetec.co.za.
Cyclists participating in this year’s Knysna Cycle Tour presented by Knysna Rotary were faced with windy conditions and a downpour just after the start at the first major sporting event of this year’s Knysna Oyster Festival. The event kicked off with four MTB races – 80km, 50km, 30km and 15km.
The 80km event was won by Gert Heyns, his second consecutive win in two years, in a time of 3:18:16. Second was Marco Joubert in 3:20:58 followed by Robert Hobson in 3:24:27.
Gert Heyns said he was very happy to take the win again after last year’s victory.
“It was quite a good way to test my form ahead of SA MTB Marathon Champs next weekend,“ he said. “It was perfect conditions out there today, a bit windy but not too slippery. It was a very enjoyable race.
“I got away just past halfway with Marco Joubert. We rode together for quite a bit and then I managed to get away from him and just stay out in front. It was quite hard, but I was feeling good.”
Heyns said he enjoyed the new route that Knysna Rotary designed this year.
“There’s quite a few nice new sections of single track at the beginning which makes it more interesting,” he said. “It makes everyone a bit more tired early on. It’s quite a fast three hours but it’s a good route.”
First home in the Elite women’s race was defending champion Robyn de Groot in a fast 3:47:48, with Hayley Preen more than 15 minutes behind her in 4:04:04. In third place, Courteney Webb was almost 10 minutes behind Preen in 4:14:35.
Robyn de Groot said that the race was “slightly different to last year with interesting single track at the start, which was really fun. Also, coming into the finish on the field was quite different.”
De Groot took the lead early on in the race. “I think already in the school single track I was away, so it was a bit of a lonely day out but a good session none the less. The changes to the route this year were fantastic, and the vegetation was really nice. Well done to everyone who participated under tough conditions - with the rain and the wind it was quite hard.”
Race Marketing Director Andrew Finn said that the event was a great success despite the weather. “Most of the registered riders turned up for their events and we’ve had great feedback so far about our new routes. The finish on the field worked very well for spectators. Finn thanked the sponsors, particularly Elite Marquees, SPUR, Coca-Cola and Powerade, and Allsound, as well as the cyclists. “The sponsors and riders make this event possible and their support and participation is what enables Rotary to do so much good work in the Knysna area every year,” he said.
Tomorrow sees the Knysna Cycle Tour Road Races and the SPUR Children’s Tour. The start and finish of both events are on the Knysna High School sports field which makes for great spectator viewing. There are food and sports clothing stalls on the field, a beer marquee and music for the adults and lots of entertainment for kiddies at the SPUR Race Village.
There will be lots of fun and entertainment for the whole family at this year’s SPUR Children’s Cycle Tour at the SPUR Race Village where families are invited to spend time before, during and after the events.
The cycle tour takes place on Sunday 23 June at the Knysna High School Sports Field with three different routes and distances for different age groups:
2-4 years – 400 m:
A circular loop on the field. The ride is open to anything on wheels including prams, pushbikes, tricycles, small bicycles with training wheels and scooters. Helmets are recommended. All accompanying adults must be on foot.
5-7 years – 1,5 km:
From the field to Hedge Street, then Waterfront Drive, onto the old railway line, past the station to turn at the turntable, then back to Hedge Street and onto the field for the finish. This ride is small bicycle-friendly, and helmets are compulsory. Accompanying adults may be on foot or bicycle.
8-10 years – 2,5 km:
As per the 1,5 km race, but riders will continue along the railway track to Long Street, turn into Waterfront Drive and then back to field. This ride is small bicycle-friendly, and helmets are compulsory. Accompanying adults may be on foot or bicycle.
Entry fees are R100 for the first rider and R50 per child for additional family members. Registration will be from 07h30 – 08h30 and the first start is at 09h00. There will be medals and goodie bags for every participant. Parents and guardians should wear flat, comfortable shoes if they want to follow their younger children on foot!
Don’t forget to dress up because there are great prizes for the best dressed participant, parent and ride! So, make sure you pimp your ride before the start!
Ongoing entertainment at the SPUR Race Village will include face painters and cheerleaders.
The SPUR Children’s Cycle Tour forms part of the annual Knysna Cycle Tour. The event is all about fitness and fun and is a great way to entertain the kids and family. You can enter your children online before 14 June at www.knysnacycle.co.za.
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.
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.