The route features approximately 200km of amazing Garden Route mountain biking but just 3 900 meters of climbing. The stages also get gradually shorter and easier as the race progresses, meaning you’ll tackle the toughest day on fresh legs and be able to coast through the final stage with ease if you’ve been neglecting your winter training.

ccs-62657-0-23824200-1460987048.jpgRobyn de Groot all smiles in the RECM Knysna 200. Photo by: Lisa G Photography.

The 2016 RECM Knysna 200 kicks off from the Knysna Elephant Park on Friday 17 June with Stage 1. The 68km stage takes in the famous Petrus Se Brand and Spoortjie Pad trails in the Garden Route National Park before heading for Knysna via the Ridge Road and the Simola Decent. The first day also features the most climbing with the total altitude gain a very manageable 1 550 meters.

Stage 2 starts at Quinta da Montanha and the 66km stage includes just 1 350 meters of altitude gain. It does however feature a tough climb inside the first 3km, at the crest of which the first man and woman will be rewarded by Ultimate Cycling Knysna as the Ultimate King and Ultimate Queen of the Mountain. From there the riding gets a lot more fun, with a trip down to Jublee Creek, jaunts through elephant and leopard territories, an Enduro section for the technically gifted and the Phantom Decent.

The third and final stage is a 57km blast to the finish from the Harkerville Forestry Station to Tapas Bistro on Knysna’s Thesen Island; taking in 1 000 meters of climbing and far more meters of descending. The route heads for the coast and offers stunning sea views before riders complete the flowing sections of the iconic Harkerville Red Route. If you’re riding the RECM Knysna 200 don’t blitz past the Brackenhill Falls as you head for Knysna though, rather stop and take in the scenery. From Brackenhill the route descends the innocuously named but tricky Grassy Ridge Decent before one last jaunt through Knysna to the Thesen Island race village.

ccs-62657-0-64115400-1460987048.jpgThe RECM Knysna 200 boasts a very relaxed atmosphere. Photo by: Julie Anne Hoffman

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. With the 2016 event being held after the Youth Day public holiday it presents the perfect opportunity to make a long weekend of it and spend some quality time in one of South Africa’s most beautiful towns. You can book accommodation for the duration of your stay in Knysna by clicking here.