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And with each day’s racing starting with a rusk and hot coffee at the Thesen Island Harbour Town lagoon-side race village of Knysna’s Quay Four, except for day two, which starts in Rheenedal, you’ll be ready to tackle what is arguably the best 300km of mountain biking in South Africa. All three days also finish at Quay Four where all your meals are included in your race entry. Also included – if you enter before 15 January 2013, is your race specific, limited edition CRAFT kit. Paramedic backup, all land access permits and, most importantly, oysters and beer as you cross the finish line are also included and sponsored by SAB. Discovery Vitality members will also earn 5 000 vitality points upon completion of the GR300.

“Riders doing the GR300 in 2014 will ride the best route since the race’s inception in 2011,” said Pax. “Day one allows for a lot of time spent on the beautiful routes of the Garden Route National Park, including the world famous Red Route. Day two introduces a brand new route, starting in the beautiful settlement of Rheenendal at the foot of the old Millwood Gold mines. Day two now swaps the sandy trails of previous years for cool indigenous forests, beautiful views, many stream crossings and the 2,5km downhill single track at Phantom Pass.”

“Day three will be a blast from the past for those who participated in the Cape Epic races that started in Knysna prior to 2008,” Pax continued. “The day’s route follows the same direction as the Epic used to, letting riders enjoy the best of the Homtini cycle trails – going downhill!”

Lauded as one of the country’s top preparatory rides for the Cape Epic, the 2014 Garden Route 300 will be powered by Trek, a world leader in mountain bike technology. “We share and respect Trek’s passion for riding and pursuit of excellence, making this partnership a perfect match,” Pax explained.

Trek and Bontrager will provide mechanical and technical support at the event, with Trek owners benefiting for free as part of the Rider Club package. Riders will be able to book out and experience Trek demo bikes on the route trails - and there will even be a Trek bike up for grabs before race day.

“We thank Trek for their involvement and look forward to many years of partnership,” said Pax. “We also thank our other sponsors for their involvement.” Sponsors and partners of the Garden Route 300 include South African Breweries, Enduren, Squirt, Knysna Tourism, Avis, Just Water, South African National Parks, Ola, Pennypinchers and Cape Pine.

Entries to the fourth annual Garden Route 300 powered by Trek are selling out at breakneck speed. The race is limited to 600 riders, so if you haven’t booked yours yet, be sure to do so without delay. The race will take place from 21 to 23 February 2014.

So get your entry to South Africa’s favourite stage race now, before it’s too late. “See it as part of your Christmas shopping – a ‘from me, to me’ gift,” Pax concluded. “It is sure to be the best gift you’ll receive all year.”