ccs-62657-0-87917600-1456731445.jpgCP van Wyk leading the leaders down a technical singletrack section in the Knysna Forest. Photo by Julia Ann Hoffman.

ccs-62657-0-15604100-1456731446.jpgYolandi du Toit in action. Photo by Julia Ann Hoffman.


In the men’s race Rebello had quietly suggested that he would make his break, on the 78km final stage, at the foot of the final long climb of the day. The climb began at the 40km mark and climbed through the third water point only ending after 8km of relentless ascent. By the water point 5km into the climb Rebello had a three minute lead on Christopher Wolhuter with CP van Wyk a further three minutes back. The story of the day though was one of a costly puncture for Boyes, who’d been the only rider able to match Rebello’s pace on the subsequently neutralized Stage 2. With Boyes effectively racing to limit his losses and maintain a spot on the podium Wolhuter had no support in the chase to catch the solo leader Rebello. The breaking up of the Imbuko Wines Freewheel Cycology pairing of Boyes and Wolhuter, especially given how they’d so effectively neutralised the threat of Rebello with great team riding on Stage 1, proved pivotal as Rebello was able to maintain his hard fought lead over Wolhuter all the way to the finish. Coming across the finish line at Quay Four on Knysna’s Thesen Island Rebello was the well-deserved stage and race winner, with Wolhuter crossing the line second, securing second in the general classification. Van Wyk finished third on the day, but Boyes did enough to stop van Wyk claiming the final podium position in the general classification.

ccs-62657-0-42413000-1456731446.jpg
Christopher Wolhuter charging through the singletracks in pursuit of Dylan Rebello. Photo by Julia Ann Hoffman.

In the women’s race, following two dominant rides Robyn de Groot was content to ride within herself and secure the overall victory. That being said Catherine Williamson traditionally improves as stage races continue and that was also the case on Stage 3 of the GR300 where she matched de Groot throughout the day. Coming in across the bridge from Knysna to Thesen Island de Groot pulled a slight gap on Williamson which she held through the walkways on the Island to claim the stage victory by a couple of bike lengths. Finishing in third on the stage was the popular Yolandi du Toit. The result meant that the women’s GR300 general classification was stable throughout the race with de Groot further enhancing her billing as a major Cape Epic challenger. In second overall Williamson will be happy coming out of the GR300 feeling stronger than when the race started, which augurs well for her own Cape Epic bid. Du Toit too will be pleased with her race finishing third on each stage and on the general classification.

In the Master’s category Gerrie Beukes claimed the overall victory while Doug Brown was the leading Grand Master finishing with an accumulated time just four minutes slower than Boyes in third position in the Open category. In the GRLite Jacques van Staden was dominant, claiming three stage victories; while Maryna Baard claimed the women’s GRLite general classification title.


ccs-62657-0-65108400-1456731446.jpgOn his return to stage racing Renay Groustra sandwiched an excellent day in the Garden Route Trail Park on Stage 2, with two tough days on Stages 1 and 3. Photo by Julia Ann Hoffman.

ccs-62657-0-90009600-1456731446.jpgRobyn de Groot leading Catherine Williamson across the finish line at Quay Four on Stage 3 of the 2016 GR300. Photo by Julia Ann Hoffman.


For aficionados of mountain biking in the Garden Route the next Garden Route Events race is the 7 Passes MTB on the 30th of April and the 1st of May, this is followed by the forest singletrack festival which is the RECM Knysna 200 from 17 to 19 June 2016. To find out more visit www.gardenrouteevents.co.za.