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  1. The 2021 date is set for South Africa’s favourite single day mountain bike event: 26th September. Heading into the 22nd edition the Karoo to Coast promises to be as challenging, rewarding and fun as ever – when 4 500 riders take on the route from Uniondale to Knysna. Over 800 riders are already entered in to the 2021 version of the event as the Lions of Uniondale and Knysna offered 100 percent refunds or migration to the 2021 event and most riders migrated their entries. A record number of new entries flooded in on Monday 21st September 2020 when the entries opened. The early bird entry incentive competition also served to boost interest around the event. Riders who enter before the end of October 2020 stand a chance to win their pre-race accommodation at the Uniondale Lodge, their post-race accommodation at the beautiful Brenton Haven Beachfront Resort, hampers and activities sponsored by Uniondale Tourism as well as R1000 in fuel for the race weekend and a Seattle Coffee hamper from Caltex on Waterfront Drive – Knysna. The 96 kilometre long course, which crosses the old wagon trail out of Uniondale before joining the famous Prince Alfred’s Pass through the Outeniqua Mountains to Knysna, features 1 560 meters of climbing – but more importantly 2 300 meters of descending from the Karoo to the coast. The route snakes through four distinct biomes and offers stunning mountain vistas of a region seldom traversed by anyone but locals and adventure motorcyclists. The event is excited to partner with their new title sponsor – the CCPP Group for the first time in 2021. I was very much hoping to ride along this year and look extremely forward to welcoming everyone in 2021. CEO for the CCPP Group – Clint Cawood Fast Facts: 2021 CCPP Group Lions Karoo to CoastDates: 26th September 2021 – it is a long weekend CCPP Group Dr Evil Classic 3 Day Stage Race takes place from the 23rd to the 25th September in Plett www.drevilclassic.com Start: Uniondale Sports Grounds Finish: Knysna High School Sport Fields Distance: 96km Elevation: 1 560m of climbing Entry Fee: R670 – LIMITED entries available Website: www.karootocoast.com Facebook: Karoo to Coast Instagram: @karoo2coast Twitter: @karootocoast For more information about the Karoo to Coast please visit www.karootocoast.com or contact Zandile Meneses on 082 851 3622 or via email at zandile@karootocoast.com
  2. Record number of entries for the 2021 version of this iconic event. Download attachment: article image 2.jpg Click here to view the article
  3. This decision has been made with input from our safety team as well as the relevant municipal officials and our title sponsor, the President of the Uniondale Lions, Ian du Plessis commented. September is just two months away and we unfortunately cannot wait any longer to make the call, he added. The event – which acts as a seeding event for the Cape Town Cycle Tour – is an icon on the South African racing calendar and one of the largest of its type in the country. According to The Lions, in the unlikely event that the current legislation changes by September 20 – the practicalities of protecting the riders, supporters and crew, as well as the wider communities involved will be very complicated. This is obviously a massive disappointment to the riders and organizers and a loss for the charities (managed through The Lions) which benefit each year, but the potential risks and consequences are simply too high. The Lions of Uniondale and Knysna would like to thank their new title partner: CCPP Group who has committed to being on board in 2021 as per the current agreement. CCPP Group CEO - Clint Cawood – who is a keen cyclist – gave event organiser – Zandile Meneses, this positive news which means that the event has the backing to produce a top quality experience for riders in 2021. Meneses added: The event values its service providers, sponsors and crew members and volunteers and especially our riders. We can feel the enthusiasm of the riders and we know they are really chomping at the bit to have a “real life” racing experience. South Africans love an adventure and a journey and we are going to put all our energy in to improving the rider experience at this event in 2021. At time of publication, entries for the event were nearing 50% full. The Lions Karoo to Coast will honour all paid entrants for this event in the most positive way possible. Three are three options available to those who have already entered: 1. Fully paid entry can be transferred to the 2021 event at the 2020 rate. 2. A cash refund of just 100% of your entry fee. 3. Riders may also opt to donate their entry fee to the charities that the Uniondale and Knysna Lions support through the event. Riders can contact info@racetec.co.za before the end of July 2020 to confirm what option they would like to take so that this can be arranged. Please see the website and social media pages for more info on how to proceed with regards to the policy above. All proceeds from this event go to charities managed by the Lions of Uniondale and Knysna. The launch of the 2021 entries will take place on the 20th September 2020 and information on this will be at www.karootocoast.com as well as our social media pages.
  4. The 22nd CCPP Group Lions Karoo to Coast Mountain Bike Challenge will not take place on 20 September 2020, as scheduled. Amidst uncertain times as to when cross-provincial travel will once again be allowed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as out of concern for the health and safety of the riders and other stakeholders, the Lions of Uniondale and Knysna have taken the decision to postpone this year’s event. Download attachment: 1.jpg Click here to view the article
  5. Over the past 21 years that this iconic event has taken place, there have been many courageous characters who have participated and supported the Lions of Knysna and Uniondale, who own the event. One of them is visually impaired paralympic bronze medallist - Gavin Kilpatrick, along with his tandem mountain bike guide Francois Esterhuizen- who won the tandem category of the Lions Karoo to Coast in 2018. Kilpatrick was diagnosed with Stargardt disease as a child and his sight degenerated. He has only 20% vision but has never let this deter him from competitive sport. Kilpatrick won a bronze medal at the 2008 Paralympics for track cycling and now focuses on triathlon, where has shown great talent and is often on the podium: I love to compete, and I love to inspire others to take part in sport despite any challenges they may face, Gavin also has an Honors qualification in Sport Management and is a Uvex Ambassador. Tandem mountain biking has opened up a whole new sport beyond triathlon for me. Francois and I completed the Coronation Double Century road race on a tandem in 2017, and he then suggested we try the mountain bike tandem riding. Esterhuizen, a passionate cyclist and owner of Manic Cycles in Worcester, says: Gavin is very fast and strong on the bike, and he certainly pushed me at the Lions Karoo to Coast route in order to get the podium position. Stephen Drew (61) from Knysna is the first mountain bike racer in South Africa with an above the-knee amputation. He was an avid mountain biker on the world stage before he lost his leg in a motorcycle accident in 2016. This almost brought his career to a complete stop - but he gathered courage after his loss and got back on the bike. He was already practising again five weeks after his loss, even before his prosthesis was fitted. Stephen is a regular Lions Karoo To Coast rider and also takes on various other challenging endurance mountain bike events. Riding the Karoo to Coast and other races is not about finishing and being a hero, it's about exploring the world of cycling as an above-knee amputee. Ultimately my objective is to get other amputees on their bikes - not necessarily to race but to be able to have a better quality of life. We would also like to celebrate the Ladies of the Uniondale Lions Club, whose hands and hearts create the delicious meal that is served to over 1600 riders each year (for over 20 years!) at the registration hall on the eve of this iconic event. We salute these ladies who work together as a happy team of VOLUNTEERS to nourish our valued participants. At this point in time – the Lions Karoo to Coast is going ahead as planned on Sunday 20th September. Should the event be postponed to 2021 due to regulations riders will have the option to transfer their entries to 2021 or receive a refund minus admin costs. ENTER NOW at www.karootocoast.com
  6. Finally here ... our new FARR OUT CARBON Gravel Bike!!! We're keeping it simple - 1 Model in Carbon, 1 Spec Option! Limited first stock is available NOW --- see our website here for sizing. KEY SPEC FEATURES: Sram Force1 Gravel Drivetrain ( 1 x 11 ) Sram Force Hydraulic Disc Brakes Stan’s ZTR Grails S1 Pro Tubeless Ready Wheels Zipp Finishing Kit KEY FRAME FEATURES: Toray Carbon Modern Gravel Geometry with Taller Headtube for Comfort Internal Cable Routing Flatmount Disc Brake Mount and Floating Derailleur Hanger these bikes are supplied 99% assembled and require minor adjustment to get riding --- gears and brakes are already set up and ready-to-ride! Just insert the saddle/seatpost, turn the handlebars, fit the front wheel and you are READY TO GRAVEL! some pics of the bike below:
  7. The Dr Evil Classic starts at the Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve The Dr Evil Classic is a three-day mountain bike stage race in the Plettenberg Bay area and surrounds. Each day has a different start/finish venue, Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve, Kurland Polo Estate and Cairnbrogie Dairy Farm, all within 25kms of one another. With three completely different days of riding, through game reserve, mountainous indigenous and pine forest, and coastal single track, the event shows off the best of the Garden Route. This year’s event took place from 19-21 September. The Dr Evil Classic covers a wide range of landscape of pine and indigenous forest and coastal track The 100 kilometre Lions Karoo to Coast, with 1560 metres of climbing and 2300 metres of descent from the Karoo to the coast, sees up to 4500 riders cross the old wagon trail out of Uniondale before joining the Prince Alfred’s Pass through the Outeniqua Mountains to Knysna. This year’s event took place on 22 September. The Lions Karoo to Coast traverses the Prince Alfred’s Pass through the Outeniqua Mountains “The Dr Evil Classic and Karoo to Coast piggybacking off each other is a fantastic concept,” says ex-pro rider Kevin Evans of the Bike Shop in Plettenberg Bay. “Who wouldn’t want to come down here and ride for 4 days if you can. Having Dr Evil start on the Thursday [70km], and then having the two shorter days on Friday and Saturday [45km and 51km], allows you to kind-of take it easy for Sunday. For me it’s home town rides; two very different rides through different areas, a fantastic weekend all round.” The Dr Evil Classic route will have you stopping for regular photo opportunities Jeff Brodie from Johannesburg completed both races: “The Karoo to Coast interested me as it was a reason to train and to have a goal to achieve something. The scenery and terrain as well the fact that it was a one-day event was my initial interest. I roped in my friend and training partner Myron Katz, who suggested that while we are travelling all the way from Joburg, that we do both Dr Evil as well as Karoo to Coast. This part of our country is truly beautiful and if you are in Plett for Dr Evil, you may as well do Karoo to Coast as well.” “The Karoo to Coast was the most beautiful route I have ever done with my bike” “People need to understand that you need to train for either of these events to enjoy them. Dr Evil was amazing. The route, slightly different each day, the water and food stations kept us going with encouragement and great food. The general organisation of both events, the lunches, the helpfulness of the organisers were beyond amazing. The magical forest single track of the Dr Evil Classic “Karoo to Coast was an extra challenge due to the weather this year. The route is tough, with lots of climbing - I thought riding from Uniondale to Knysna would be downhill! We were wet, we were cold, but we were on our bicycles and I said to a complete stranger next to me up one of the climbs: ‘I came here to ride this race, and I’m not getting off my bicycle until we get to Knysna, and he said Ek ook!’.” “Karoo to Coast was an extra challenge due to the weather this year.” Three Bosman brothers Cecil, Francois and Jaco, all grew up in Knysna and took part in both events. Says Cecil, who now lives in Cape Town: “Dr Evil is a great race to get into stage racing, it’s not too heavy but it has a few technical sections with a bit of endurance involved, and there is a more laid back atmosphere than at the bigger events. “For me the Karoo to Coast almost like a road race, because of the numbers. Your start is very important, you want to keep up with some of the faster guys, get over Wapad quickly enough and stay with the guys who are stronger so that once you hit the flats you can latch onto a wheel. The Karoo to Coast starts in the town of Uniondale and heads out onto the old Wapad “If you want a taste of a real endurance race the Karoo to Coast is perfect - it is a long ride and there is a lot of climbing but it’s never too steep where you have to push and it’s never too technical where it is scary.” Francois, also resident in Cape Town says: “Doing the events together is also a good way of training for some of the tougher stage races like the Epic and Tankwa Trek. The combination, with the long day at the end, is very good for training. “If you want a taste of a real endurance race the Karoo to Coast is perfect” Anso van Dyk from Kakamas in the Northern Cape did the Karoo to Coast in 2015: “It was the most beautiful route I have ever done with my bike and always told myself that I would ride it again. I went to my friends early this year and told them let's do the Dr. Evil and the Karoo to Coast. They immediately agreed so we signed up for both. We didn't really know what to expect doing both, I knew it wasn't going to be easy but I knew I could push myself to finish it. “Stage 1 and 2 of Dr Evil were tough for me with all the uphills. The last few kilometres of single track were really fun on day 2, challenging, but also very technical. Stage 3 was the best day for me. There was uphill as well, but it wasn't like Stage 1 and 2 at all. The single track and the last section where you were riding so high along the sea, is so beautiful that you forget about the other two difficult days. I would definitely do it again and recommend that other riders do this at least once in their life.” For many riders the highlight of the Dr Evil Classic is the coastal single track of day 3 Johan Labuschagne is currently living in Knysna and says: “I came here from Gauteng a few years ago and nowhere in South Africa do you have such different biomes as in this combination. In Dr Evil you have beautiful mountains, forest and the coastline, and in Karoo to Coast you have dry Karoo, mountains and coast. They fit really well together - if you take the trouble to travel here for one, you should do both - it’s bliss.” “If you take the trouble to travel here for one, you should do both - it’s bliss.” 2020 dates have been set for the Dr Evil Classic (17-19 September 2020) and the Karoo to Coast (20 September 2020), and entries are now open at www.drevilclassic.com and www.karootocoast.com
  8. Sebastian Stark leads Waylon Woolcock up one of the many climbs with punctuate the Prince Alfred’s Pass road from Uniondale to Knysna. Photo by Oakpics.com. “Sometimes it was good, but sometimes it was really hard to see anything” puffed the muddy race winner upon crossing the finish line on the Knysna High School Sports Fields. “I attacked on the second climb” Stark explained, delving into how the 2019 BUCO Karoo to Coast unfolded. “Waylon [Woolcock] went with me, but of course he would not share the work as he had his teammates chasing. So, I decided to get clear of him and ride my own race. It was pretty much a time trial for the last two hours.” Stark’s time of 3 hours, 19 minutes and 53 seconds was 8 minutes and 51 seconds faster than that of the second-place finisher, Woolcock. “Conditions were really, really tough. But Sebastian [stark] was really strong. I have to give it to him; he rode me off pretty early” Woolcock graciously conceded. “I could see he was clearly a lot stronger than me so when he did ride me off, I wasn’t too concerned. I just rode my own pace and tried to bring it in to the finish line safely.” The weather though the kloofs and over the passes of the route from the Karoo to the coast was mild and stormy by turns. Photo by Oakpics.com. Third place on the day came down to a sprint between Craig Boyes and Dusty Day. Boyes had punctured on the Wa Pad descent, just 12 kilometres into the race and had spent the next 48 kilometres chasing back; gradually passing riders, one-by-one. He caught Day and Stuart Biesheuvel, who finished the race in fifth position at the 60-kilometre mark. Once Boyes and Day had distanced Biesheuvel; a sprint between the two, for the final podium position, was virtually inevitable. “I nearly made the same mistake that Matthew Keyser made last year, when I beat him to take the win” Boyes laughed. “But I managed to hold off Dusty [Day] somehow. He’s a great guy and it’s always fantastic racing against him.” The women’s race was won by Giliomee, the pre-race favourite and a Knysna local. Making her victory even more popular was the fact that she was riding in support of the South African Guide-Dogs Association. Last year the BUCO Karoo to Coast’s founders, the Lions Clubs of Knysna and Uniondale, donated R100 000 to the association. Unfortunately, the cold and wet weather meant that the custom designed guide-dog inspired Cioviata cycling jersey Giliomee wore for the race did not get much opportunity to be seen. A muddy but happy Nicky Giliomee crosses the BUCO Karoo to Coast finish line to claim the race victory for the South African Guide-Dogs Association. Photo by Oakpics.com. “It was really rough” a drenched Giliomee exclaimed on the finish line. “It was so cold out there. I’m really happy I made it to the finish in one piece. I rode for a charity close to my heart today, which makes me even more stoked to have won representing them.” Giliomee’s winning time of 4 hours, 10 minutes and 1 second was nearly 20 minutes slower than her 2018 time; showcasing just how challenging the 2019 conditions were. She was followed across the line by Odette Guy and Annerie van Velden. Due to the persistent rain squalls, that kept blowing across the sports fields, the prize giving had to be cancelled. The 2019 BUCO Karoo to Coast category winners and podium finishers will thus be honoured digitally during the week. While the lucky draws will also take place electronically, with the winners to be announced on social media. Despite the wet weather the route was as beautiful as ever, and perhaps even more memorable. Photo by Oakpics.com. Further down the field the real heroes of the race were the riders who soldiered on, through the torrential rain and block headwinds, to complete their BUCO Karoo to Coast adventures. Each and every one of them will no doubt remember the experience for years to come. Among the 21 editions of the famous race this will surely rank as one of the most memorable. To relive the day’s adventures riders and mountain biking fans can follow @karootocoast on Twitter, @karoo2coast on Instagram and like the Karoo to Coast Facebook page. The 2020 race dates have already been set for those whose appetite for adventure has been wet by the 2019 race. It will take place on, Sunday 20 September 2020, and a limited number of early bird entries will go on sale on Tuesday, 24 September 2019. For more information please visit www.karootocoast.com. Every 2019 BUCO Karoo to Coast finisher can be exceptionally proud at having conquered the challenging weather conditions. Photo by Oakpics.com. 2019 BUCO Karoo to Coast Results: Men’s: 1. Sebastian Stark 03:19:53 2. Waylon Woolcock 03:28:44 3. Craig Boyes 03:34:00 4. Dusty Day 03:34:00 5. Stuart Biesheuvel 03:37:08Women’s: 1. Nicky Giliomee 04:10:01 2. Odette Guy 04:39:57 3. Annerie van Velden 04:40:18 4. Johanet Cilliers 04:46:22 5. Leone Verster 04:50:49 For the full results please visit www.karootocoast.com.
  9. “I’ve done Karoo to Coast a few times now,” says 2018 winner Craig Boyes. “For me the heritage the event carries is really special, as is starting in the Karoo and finishing at the coast - the views from the from start to finish are just amazing,” he says. This year’s event – the 21st Buco Lions Karoo to Coast Mountain Bike Challenge – will take place on 22 September 2019 over 96 kilometres from Uniondale to Knysna. Entries over the past few years have sold out in record time and organisers expect this year to be no different. “Also,” Boyes adds, “There is one route only - no shorter options are available, so everyone is in the same boat and goes through the same experiences on race day, which really adds to the vibe.” While the vibe is important to Boyes and the rest of the elite racers up front, winning this iconic event is a big part of why they come back every year. “Last year I didn’t see the win coming to me, I was totally blown away,” he says. According to Boyes he and Waylon Woolcock and myself decided they would go hard on Ou Wapad and see what happens. “I was not too sure if this was the right idea it’s long way to race when you split the race 10km in, but Waylon is old school and knows how things work - if he said it's time to go then you go hard.” Matthew Keyser joined the pair and they stayed together until the end where it came down to a sprint finish. “Matt was really strong and I was watching him all day. He got the jump on me in the sprint and as was we turned left he ran wide and I slipped past. To this day I think Matt was the strongest rider but I was the luckiest rider.” Boyes has some tips for newcomers on making their own luck on the day: Don't overdo it early on, it's a long way to the finish keep some legs for the last 50km. After Ou Wapad try and find some riders that you can ride with, work together and catch some slip. Remember to eat and drink, I always think of my body as a steam engine - what you put in is what you get out. Stop at the water points, refuel (tip from Waylon) This one is for everyone fast or slow: Enjoy every moment of the event, it really has got some cool things to see along the route, just take a moment and look around. In the interest of maintaining the quality of the iconic event (and to ease the registration process) the Lions Clubs of Uniondale and Knysna has decided that only 4500 entries will once again be made available in 2019. These entries will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. The event is strictly a mountain bike event with no eBikes allowed. No substitutions will be allowed after 25th August. The entry fee is R630 and includes dinner in Uniondale on Saturday 21 September. The event is owned by the Lions Clubs of Uniondale and Knysna and all proceeds from the event go to charity – with Sightfirst and the S A Guide Dog Association being the main beneficiaries. The riders who supported the event raised over R1.5 million for charity in 2018! For more information and to enter, visit www.karootocoast.com
  10. Celebrate the Heritage Day long weekend with all the best of what the Garden Route has to offer. Click here to view the article
  11. Tapering. What’s that? Who needs a big rest ahead of a goal event when you can cruise three beautiful days and then – with all your muscles firing – blaze the goal. For this reason the Buco DR Evil Classic is the ideal ‘warm-up’ opportunity ahead of the Buco Lions Karoo to Coast. But that is just one small reason to enter now… Don’t take our word for it, Nicola Giliomee finished second on K2C in 2018, here’s what she has to say of the Dr Evil Classic “Everything about this event is just world class,” says Nicola Giliomee. “The routes are so well designed and marked by Leon (Evans) and his team.” “They’re challenging but still caters for every level of rider which is amazing,” she says. The daily distances for the 2019 Buco Dr Evil Classic – which will take place over the three days leading up to Buco Lions Karoo to Coast Mountain Bike (19-21 September) – are relatively short. Day one is scheduled to be 70 kilometres, with days two and three 50 each. Not only will Dr Evil Classic riders be in race-ready shape for the iconic Karoo to Coast, as in the past, they will also get preferential treatment: Dr Evil Classic riders get an automatic seeding into the second start group (out of seven) at Karoo to Coast. They will receive their Karoo to Coast race numbers at the Dr Evil registration so they do not have to register in Uniondale. “I started riding in this area when I was at school and these routes are why I ride,” Giliomee says. “I think what this event gets right is the wide variety of trails each day - one minute you’re riding in a game reserve among some spectacular wildlife, the next you are in the magical forest and then you find yourself riding along the coast,” she says. “That dramatic ocean scenery is just so special.” In the interest of making the route experience even better, route designer Leon Evans and his team have taken rider feedback to heart (as they do every year) and removed large parts of the ‘open’ roads from the 2019 route. “On Stage One we’ve taken out many of the sections where the fire had been through,” Evans says. “The burnt sections made for great views in 2018, but the consensus from the riders is that they want to be under tree canopy, so we have rerouted though the spectacular indigenous forest the area is so famous for,” he says. According to Evans, other route additions include new sections of singletrack on stages Two and Three, most notably a seven-kilometre stretch into Kurland to end day two. For Gilliomee, it’s not so much the route, or the preferential Karoo to Coast treatment which lures her back every year, but the overall vibe. “This race is a 100% family event, which I love,” she says. “It is the perfect race to socialise, meet new people and to enjoy with your friends and family. The kids love all the race venues, which makes it something special for everyone to enjoy,” she says. While it is a great experience for the whole family, the riding is also super exclusive with no cut-off times or ‘race’ pressure. The routes can also be enjoyed by on eBikes and Gravel Grinders in two special categories. Entries are limited and selling out fast with only 70 of the 350 entries still available. Entries and information available at www.drevilclassic.com
  12. Perhaps best known for his Hakahana Enduro-style trail network in Gauteng, Johan and his team have built roughly 15kms of hand-built single-track at Kurland and by the middle of next year he expects to have completed a very special series of trails across the estate. “We are building a different kind of trail here. This is proper riding,” says Johan. “I would call this an aspirational trail - we will have all the elements for the gravity guys but a kid on a 20-inch bike will be able to ride the trail. You choose how you take it on.” Breathtaking views and awesome single track is in store for Dr Evil Classic riders. This project presents a great opportunity for Leon Evans, aka Dr Evil, who will treat 350 riders to the 8th edition of a stage race that has become synonymous with fun and adventure (and certainly not for punishing “evil” trails - his work on the Cape Epic route design earned Leon this nickname). “This really helps us to offer a whole lot more on day 2, as we will include at least 8kms of Johan’s new trail. Previously day 2 was largely made up of a lot of good quality jeep track, as we would rather use good jeep track than supply substandard single-track - but this seriously fun section of single-track with loads of flowing descent and a beautiful climb, takes things up a level,” says Leon. You don’t have to be a hardcore racing snake to enjoy the Dr Evil Classic – it’s a fun, adventurous route. Johan describes the treat that Dr Evil Classic riders have in store: “Leon is tapping into the two primary flowy descents that we have built so far. The first is about 1,5kms of what we call Glenn’s Gamble”, he says. This section is named after master trail builder of Berg & Bush/Joburg2c fame, Glenn Harrison, who came to assist the team in building this section. “This takes you down to the pavilion and you meander on the estate for a while, then you will join a climb through the forest on a custom single track with switchbacks. From there you have the second descent, about 2,5kms of flowy trails in pristine indigenous forest.” From game reserve to indigenous forest to coastal track, the Dr Evil Classic has it all. Leon says that he and his partner in the event, Zandile Meneses, are constantly looking for ways to improve the race. “When we started the event, we were based at one location with 3 different loops per day. We needed more variation so we changed to 3 different and diverse race villages less than 20km apart, which has enhanced the rider experience hugely,” he said. The venues are Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve (Registration and Day 1), Kurland Hotel and Polo Estate (Day 2) and Cairnbrogie Dairy Farm (Day 3), and with the catering at the race villages provided by well-known chef Grant Ludski from Knysna Hollow, the hospitality aspect of the event has become as popular as the route. With no tented accommodation as part of the race entry, riders are free to stay in their own choice of accommodation, and the Plettenberg Bay area has a wide range of options for any budget. Leon “Dr Evil” Evans and Zandile Meneses have been keeping riders smiling for 8 years now. When asked what makes The Dr Evil Classic so special and what the biggest challenge is for riders, Leon wryly responds: “I think the most challenging part of the event is to just get here. Then the fun begins. About 170km of sublime countryside spread over 3 days should not be intimidating to anyone.” He hesitates to isolate a highlight, but says: “the diverse terrain – forest, mountain and coastal routes all with exceptional views, the quality of the ride and the fact that it’s generally non-technical.” And Dr Evil knows what technical looks like. Enter the Dr Evil Classic at www.drevilclassic.co.za or email zandile@drevilclassic.co.za for a manual entry. The Karoo to Coast starts on the tar in Uniondale - ride from the Little Karoo down to the coast at Knysna. Remember you can use the Dr Evil Classic as a warm up ride for the Karoo to Coast 100km Mountain Bike Challenge, which will happen on Sunday 22 September (it starts in Uniondale and ends in Knysna). This race is also a seeding event for the 2020 Cape Town Cycle Tour, and all Dr Evil riders receive automatic second batch seeding for the Karoo to Coast. Enter the Karoo to Coast at www.karootocoast.com or email zandile@karootocoast.co.za for a manual entry. Great news for those entering both events: there is a prize to the value of R 50 000 for the rider with the fastest combined times. “The Best of Both Worlds” winner will be set for the 2020 editions of the races, with the prize comprising 2 nights for 2 at Kurland Hotel and Polo Estate during the Dr Evil Classic 2020, and 2 nights for 2 people at Pocket Breaks in Knysna during the Karoo to Coast 2020. Two Karoo to Coast entries and one Dr Evil entry, a Super Scott hamper and R 5000 in cash, is all included in the prize! The Prince Alfred’s Pass is a highlight of the Karoo to Coast route.
  13. The Buco Dr Evil Classic 3 day stage race is a feast of natural beauty and challenging riding on the Garden Route. Riders are treated like royalty for 3 days with amazing services on the route, delicious meals and some of the best single track riding in the country. The Dr Evil Classic is used by many riders as a warm-up for the Buco Lions Karoo to Coast, the one day, 100km race from Uniondale to Knysna over the stunning Prince Alfred’s Pass. This event will take place on Sunday 22 September, so be sure to take Monday off and relax on the Garden Route for a couple of days after your mountain biking adventure. Buco Dr Evil Classic riders get an automatic second batch seeding for the Buco Lions Karoo to Coast 100km Mountain Bike Challenge - entries sell out for this event so be sure to enter soon. The Dr Evil Classic’s namesake Leon Evans received this nickname from his days designing some of the gruelling Absa Cape Epic’s routes, but his approach in designing this event in his own backyard, is more focused on fun and adventure than testing riders to their limits. “The route was designed as an introduction to stage racing, and has developed into a fun, relaxed event with manageable distances each day. It’s a non-intimidating race and the riders had a wonderful time last year.” This is one of those races where it makes sense to include the whole family - because there is so much to do in the area other than ride a bike. If you are the only rider in the family or amongst your friends, everyone else can do a host of activities while you take the morning to ride. If you are a serious rider but have been looking for a race to encourage your partner to ride with you, this is the one. There is no tented race village, which means you and your family can stay together, in budget accommodation, or a self-catering cottage on a farm, or a luxury hotel while eating out at amazing restaurants each night. See some suggestions from Dr Evil here. Nikki Biesheuvel, winner of the 2018 Dr Evil Classic solo women’s race for the second year in a row, says this aspect of the event worked really well for her and her friends. “It’s a lovely way to see Plett; it really feels like you are on holiday, with a bonus of going for a really great ride every day. We hired a cottage at the Crags and had a braai each night and my two friends who were there for the scenery and the vibe got as much out of it as I did.” With a different start venue for each stage (but all within 20kms of each other), riders experience a very different type of landscape each day. The first stage leaves from Plett Game Reserve with wildlife such as zebras, wildebeest and even elephants on view from the bike, then you head out for a scenic 70km mountain ride. A highlight of Day 1 is the game viewing from the bike as you leave the Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve. Day 2 starts at Kurland Hotel and Polo Estate and is mostly made up of indigenous and plantation forest covering a distance of around 45km. A 15km trail of single track is currently under construction on the estate, which will add significantly to the 2019 experience. The routes of the Buco Dr Evil Classic have been designed to challenge less experienced riders, create flowing trails for the racers and provide a spectacular all-round experience. Beautiful indigenous and plantation forest characterise day 2 of the Buco Dr Evil Classic, where an additional 15km of single-track will be a welcome feature in 2019.Day 3 is roughly 50kms, starting at Cairnbrogie Dairy Farm with its renowned network of single track along a coastline which forms part of the Robberg Coastal Corridor. Oli Munnik, ex-pro mountain biker, enjoyed the event with his wife Alana last year and says the three different environments you ride really make this a special experience: “Despite being relatively close geographically, the riding of the three areas is distinctly different. It allows you to enjoy a new route each day without having to ride a certain distance before you get to the new section,” he says. He continues: “The last day’s single track where you pop out on the coast is remarkable, with breathtaking sea views and the sound of crashing waves, it is really worth experiencing.” Single-track heaven with breathtaking views characterise day 3 of the Buco Dr Evil Classic Leon Evans’ partner in organising the event is Zandile Meneses and she says: “We are building a sustainable event; we want this to remain a small successful event where riders feel they have been well looked after and receive a great value experience. We kept the entry fees very similar to 2017 last year, but increased the spend on goodie bags by at least 35%, because we have seen how our riders appreciate these extra touches, including an amazing meal after a long ride.” First class organisation, exceptional food and an overflowing goody bag, all create the incredible experience that is the Buco Dr Evil ClassicA three-course meal is provided each day by Knysna Hollow Country Estate’s chef - Grant Ludski, and riders rave about the treats in store each day. As Oli Munnik says: “The food was absolutely world-class, something I actually started looking forward to when we got to about 10kms to go on day 2 and 3. The organisation was seamless - you never noticed The Dr Evil team or needed to ask for assistance, and this results in a very relaxed vibe in the race villages.” Enter now Sign up for the Buco Dr Evil Classic here or email zandile@drevilclassic.co.za for a manual entry. Enter Dr Evil by email before the end of February to receive a discounted manual entry.Enter here for the Buco Lions Karoo to Coast or email zandile@karootocoast.co.za for a manual entry. Remember that Buco Lions Karoo to Coast riders with a Dr Evil entry receive an automatic second batch seeding amongst seven batches, just another reason to combine these first-class events for an incredible long weekend of riding. Dr Evil riders who enter the Karoo to Coast before the end of May will receive their Karoo to Coast race numbers in their Dr Evil race packs. They will need to collect their Karoo to Coast goody bag and any purchased merchandise in Uniondale - registration is open on Sunday 22nd from 05:30 onwards. So what will you be doing on the Heritage Day long weekend? Watch this 5-minute race report as featured on Supersport’s Toyota Cadence: Follow the events on social media:Buco Dr Evil Classic: Website: https://drevilclassic.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drevilclassic Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/drevilclassic/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/drevilclassic Buco Lions Karoo to Coast Mountain Bike Challenge: Website: https://www.karootocoast.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/karootocoast/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karoo2coast/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/karootocoast
  14. The Prince Alfred’s Pass is without a doubt one of the most scenic mountain passes in South Africa and mountain biking fans are encouraged to visit the BUCO Karoo to Coast Facebook page to view all the photos from the 2018 event. Photo by Oakpics.com. Held in near perfect conditions; which saw the first section of gravel road known as the, ‘Ou Wapad’, smoother than it has been for years and in presently mild temperatures the 2018 BUCO Karoo to Coast was one for the history books. 4 600 riders made the twentieth edition the largest ever field and only a light head wind provided a hint of natural difficulty. It was anything but an easy day on the bike however, as the accumulation of meters of elevation gained stacked up and the constant vibrations of racing across gravel roads at high speeds increased the rate at which fatigue set in. The BUCO Karoo to Coast starts in the Karoo town of Uniondale traverses the upper reaches of the Langkloof and descends the Prince Alfred's Pass on its way to the coast. Photo by Oakpics.com. Not even race winner Boyes was immune from the effects of the gruelling race. He, Matthew Keyser (Sliverback Volvo) and fellow Specialized Stellenbosch compatriot Waylon Woolcock broke away from the rest of the field on the ‘Ou Wapad’ descent. The trio shared turns on the front, ensuring none of the pursuers could catch them. Then with 45 kilometres to go Woolcock attacked, distancing Boyes and Keyser by 20 seconds on a long and grinding climb. On the descent which followed the light-weight Woolcock could not maintain his advantage as the larger Boyes and Keyser used their momentum to good effect – closing the gap by the 40 kilometre mark. Craig Boyes (front) was accompanied by Matthew Keyser and Waylon Woolcock in a break-away which led the 2018 BUCO Karoo to Coast from the 85 kilometre mark to the finish line in Knysna. Photo by Oakpics.com. Fatigue and cramps then began to set in for Boyes, but he managed to hang on to the others and set up a sprint finish by entering the lagoon-side trails of Knysna neck-and-neck with Keyser and Woolcock. Rounding the final bend, onto the Knysna High School Sport Fields, Keyser carried too much speed and found himself up against the railings. Boyes, though, paced this final corner to perfection carrying enough speed to exit the corner with the necessary momentum to beat Keyser to the line. The young Silverback Volvo rider had to be content with second and the King of the Mountain prize, while Woolcock rolled across the line in third ten seconds behind the victorious Boyes. “Ja look, I think I definitely got lucky today” Boyes recounted from the finish line. “Waylon (Woolcock) and Matt (Keyser) were definitely strong and I was cramping for the last 30 kilometres. I got dropped on the last climb but managed to fight back just before we crested. Then in the end Matt almost had me, but he just took the wrong line” the race winner explained. “It’s great; I’ve never had a podium here before. So it’s really good. I just want to stop cramping” he laughed through a grimace. Pauline Tunstead driving home the advantage she established on the Buffelsnek Climb on the Simola descent. Photo by Oakpics.com. In the women’s race Pauline Tunstead, riding in the colours of Wayne Pheiffer Cycles, sealed a victory which had even the winner herself surprised. “My friends are all riding still” she laughed, “and I’m still in shock.” Though nobody could have predicted her victory before the 2018 BUCO Karoo to Coast once the racing started she was clearly the strongest woman in the field. Knysna local, Nicky Giliomee had fought her way clear of the rest of the women’s field, to claim the Queen of the Mountain hotspot prize; but Tunstead reeled her in thereafter. On the Buffelsnek climb, with 38 kilometres left to race, Tunstead managed to distance Giliomee. The Journey by Junto rider simply did not have the legs to follow the relentless pace set by rider from Port Elizabeth in the closing kilometres. “I didn’t expect this, but BUCO Karoo to Coast has always been my favourite race as an amateur” the newly crowned champion said. “It has a little bit of everything and it is beautifully organised. Plus I just love this part of the country. I’m overwhelmed” an ecstatic Tunstead concluded. Pauline Tunstead surprised herself to win the 2018 BUCO Karoo to Coast with a decisive attack with 38 kilometres remaining in the race. Photo by Oakpics.com. “We had perfect weather and the route was so nice” second placed Giliomee enthused after her second runner’s up placing in as many years at the BUCO Karoo to Coast. “It was also great to see the camaraderie between the riders, everyone is just here to ride their bikes. I’m also so proud of Craig (Boyes). He really deserves this win and Pauline (Tunstead) climbs incredibly well so she is also a really deserving winner” Giliomee – who claimed the prize for the first Knysna local to cross the line – concluded. Joining Tunstead and Giliomee on the women’s podium was Nadia Visser. Results: 2018 BUCO Karoo to Coast Men 1. Craig Boyes | 03:22:18 2. Matthew Keyser | 03:22:18 3. Waylon Woolcock | 03:22:28 4. Tyler Day | 03:23:12 5. Johan Labuschagne | 03:23:28 The 2018 BUCO Karoo to Coast men’s podium, featuring from left to right: Matthew Keyser (2nd), Craig Boyes (1st) and Waylon Woolcock (3rd). Photo by Oakpics.com. Women 1. Pauline Tunstead | 03:50:40 2. Nicky Giliomee | 03:52:56 3. Nadia Visser | 03:58:06 4. Xanri Haak | 04:05:17 5. Lizanne van der Merwe | 04:13:41 The 2018 BUCO Karoo to Coast women’s podium, featuring from left to right: Lizanne van der Merwe (5th), Nicky Giliomee (2nd), Pauline Tunstead (1st), Nadia Visser (3rd) and Xanri Haak (4th). Photo by Oakpics.com.
  15. The BUCO Karoo to Coast takes riders from the arid Karoo, in Uniondale, over the Outeniqua Mountains to Knysna, on the coast of the Indian Ocean. Photo by Ewald Sadie. The 100 kilometre long route takes in the Ou Wapad out of Uniondale; Prince Alfred’s Pass, a still-gravel road pass which it has been argued is Thomas Bain's finest work; and Kom-se-Pad through the beautiful Gouna indigenous Forest. The weather for this year’s event looks set to be perfect, with mild temperatures and virtually wind still conditions predicted on the long-term forecast. The route follows Prince Alfred’s Pass, one of the country’s longest and most spectacular mountain passes. Photo by Ewald Sadie. If the prediction holds it could make for a year of fast times, though how the race will unfold is always difficult to predict – given the sheer size of the field. Both the men’s and women’s races are bereft of the defending champions however, with Robert Hobson and Jeanie de Villiers not scheduled to start. This will not affect the competitiveness of the field though, as the depth of talent in the men’s start list, in particular, ensures any one of a number of riders could cross the finish line, in Knysna, first. Defending champion, Robert Hobson, may not be starting this year’s race but fellow young Stellenbosch mountain biker, Rossouw Bekker could stun the more illustrious names in the men’s field. Photo by Ewald Sadie. There is a healthy mix of youth and experience on display in the men’s field too, with ex-professional rider Waylon Woolcock lining up against a rider he has helped train – Rossouw Bekker – in one of the more interesting match-ups within the race. The presence of brothers, Tyler and Dusty Day, along with Craig Boyes and Charlie Mcfall should aid in ensuring the pace is frantic from the off. The orchard blooms of the Langkloof provide brilliant colour to a route dominated by first olive and then emerald greens. Photo by Ewald Sadie. Another ex-professional, or rather ex-full time rider as he prefers, in the field is Oliver Munnik. Munnik is set to ride his gravel bike rather than a full suspension mountain bike and this choice will provide another interesting dynamic to the racing. When asked if he would be challenging for victory at the BUCO Karoo to Coast this year Munnik responded in typical fashion: “I will shave my legs and give it my best shot”. Knysna local, Nicky Giliomee was second in 2017 and is one of a number of potential women’s champions set to start the 2018 BUCO Karoo to Coast. Photo by Ewald Sadie. The women’s field is no less competitive but with a large number of riders on a very similar level it is virtually impossible to pick a favourite. Last year’s runner up, Nicky Giliomee, could be among the podium contenders – but following a winter of niggling illness, the Stellenbosch student who hails from Knysna is hesitant to commit. “I’ve been sick on and off, with flu and then bronchitis, so I’m not really sure how competitive I’ll be” Giliomee confessed. Sweeping through the forests is one of the highlights of the BUCO Karoo to Coast. Photo by Ewald Sadie. The 2017 fifth and sixth placed women, Barnize Lategan and Yolande Myburgh meanwhile will be looking to step up their performances and race for a place on the podium. While Sharon van den Heever who finished seventh last time out, under a minute down on Lategan in fifth is not to be underestimated. The unpredictable nature of the BUCO Karoo to Coast, where the route provides 100 kilometres for punctures or dips in energy to shake up the results, means that an unexpected new-comer could completely dominate the race. The unspoilt indigenous forests, above Knysna, provide the final of four distinct biomes through which the route traverses. Photo by Ewald Sadie.
  16. Just a heads-up - a person who uses the name above is working a scam on K2C entries. Basically, no entries available, so she advises (on the K2C 2018 fb page) that she has an entry for sale. Money changes hands (electronically of course), and then no more. Simple, yet effective. Looking on the K2C page it has happened to at least 2 people so far. So, be alert. and.....if anyone really does have entries for sale, please advise - a friend is in need.
  17. Dr Evil Classic - 20th to the 22nd September – race villages and routes based around Plettenberg Bay. Lions Karoo to Coast – 23rd September – start in Uniondale and Finish in Knysna. 1. The finest forest riding in the country “Nowhere in the country can you ride indigenous forests as you can here,” says route designer for the Dr Evil - Leon Evans. This year sees two new venues included in the three-day stage race promising even more spectacular single track and forest riding. Registration and Day One are at the Plett Game Reserve. Day Two is at Kurland Hotel and Polo Estate. While Day Three remains at the ever popular Cairnbrogie Dairy Farm with its extensive trail network. The daily distances are between 50 and 70km’s. The Lions Karoo to Coast route delights riders of all levels of fitness and skills. If you are a racing snake you can aim to beat your annual time on the fast jeep tracks and great descents. If you are in it for fun – it is not a technically demanding route and the camaraderie on the route is second to none. 2. Very Fair Entry Prices This year the event owners have decided to keep their entry fee very similar to the 2017 cost, but to also spend MORE on their goody bag content. “Our intention is not to make a fortune from the events at the expense of their longevity. We want to be proud of what we offer the riders so that they keep coming back each year. So far – this approach is working and we are grateful for this”. Sais Zandile Meneses – who co-owns the Dr Evil and has managed the K2C for 15 years. The cost per Dr Evil rider is R3850.00 if you contact Zandile@drevilclassic.com directly for a manual form – and R4200.00 if you enter online. The Lions Karoo to Coast cost is R590 for the day and includes your dinner in Uniondale. 3. Attention to Detail and Crew The Dr Evil Classic 3 Day Stage race - 3-course meals are prepared by professional chef – Grant Ludski – who is head chef at Knysna Hollow Country Estate. Riders have raved about the meals over the years. The core crew for this event and the Lions Karoo to Coast have remained largely unchanged for a good few years and they love what they do and strive to pay attention to the small details that reiterate the reality that the rider is our valued guest. 4. Accommodation and Spectator Friendly There are various accommodation options on offer in the surrounding areas for both events. Each day of the Dr Evil Classic start/finish area is located within around 20 kilometres from each other and many of the venues are offering discounted rates for riders. At Plett Game Reserve on Day One - supporters will be able to go on game drives while waiting for the riders to return, while Kurland Hotel and Polo Estate will be hosting a major equestrian event at the same time as day two of Dr Evil, enabling supporters to watch while the riders are out on course. 5. In additionBuco Dr Evil Classic riders get an automatic seeding into the second start group (out of seven). They will receive their Buco Lions Karoo to Coast Karoo to Coast race numbers at the Dr Evil registration so they do not have to register in Uniondale. Entries are limited to maintain the special flavour of the events - and we expect to sell out in the next few weeks - so hurry to www.karootocoast.com or www.drevilclassic.com or contact race director Zandile Meneses directly on zandile@drevilclassic.com or zandile@karootocoast.com.
  18. It was the 19-year-old from Stellensbosch’s first attempt at the 95.95km event and he was ecstatic with the result. “Yes, very happy indeed!” He commented at the finish. “I came with good form and hopes of a win, but didn’t really know who would be here so wasn’t too sure what to expect,” he said. At the front end of the 4700 capacity field, the racing started in earnest right from the gun, as is the norm with this event. Conditions for the race, which has some 1521m ascent and 2244m descent were perfect, with overcast skies and cooler temperatures than initially forecast. More importantly, the wind stayed away. Robert Hobson solos his way to victory at the 18th Buco Lions Karoo to Coast Mountain Bike Challenge. Photo credited: Ewald Sadie | www.esphotography.co.za At the top of the first climb out of Uniondale, a group of eight riders and had formed. “Myself and Matthew Keyser managed to get a bit of a gap on the rest on the first downhill,” Hobson explains. The two stayed away for a few kilometres but the group came back together again on a long flat section. According to Hobson, the six-strong group rode together until about 45 kilometres to go when he managed to get a gap. “I broke away kind of by chance,” he says, “and then on the next climb managed to extend the gap.” Hobson put in a huge solo effort over the back half of the course and managed to stay away to claim the win in 03:17:19. Jeanie de Villiers, who finished second in 2016 went one better in the women’s category to win in a time of 03:59:50. “I expected to suffer and I got that,” said the visibly ecstatic 36-year-old at the finish. “I’m so happy to have so many people on my side and the way it played out - a very special thanks goes out to my coach John Wakefield,” she said. More about the event The Buco Lions Karoo to Coast Mountain Bike Challenge is an off road race from UNIONDALE to KNYSNA via the Prince Alfred's Pass. The route is scenic, challenging and riders are encouraged to train sufficiently for this event in order to maximise the enjoyment of the experience. The race is also an Official Premier Seeding Event of the 2018 Cape Town Cycle Tour.For more information and to enter, visit www.karootocoast.com Men 1. Robert Hobson 03:17:19 2. Charles McFall 03:21:52 3. Matthew Keyser 03:23:35Women 1. Jeanie de Villiers 03:59:50 2. Nicola Giliomee 04:07:13 3. Tina Brenzel 04:19:33
  19. Barry de Kock and George Fitzpatrick are just about halfway to their goal of cycling from Beitbridge to Knysna. The pair – who have been friends since they both worked for SAA many years ago – have undertaken the journey to raise funds for cataract operations, sponsoring a guide dog, and cornea transplants, through the Knysna Lion’s Club. Click here to view the article
  20. The original idea was the 62-year-old De Kock’s. He wanted to do a mountain bike ride from Beitbridge (on the border of South Africa and Zimbabwe), to Cape Point via Sedgefield and Cape Agulhas, the most southern tip of Africa. After some persuasion, Fitzpatrick (69 – who has been managing the finish of the Lion’s Pennypinchers Karoo to Coast since 2005 – decided to join him. According to Fitzpatrick’s wife Sue – who is chairperson of Lions Knysna – he has seen the response and delight of someone that has had a cataract removed. “Also, he is so involved with the Lions and Karoo to Coast, that they decided to raise money for the Lions sight projects - hence the title ‘Cycling for Sight’,” she says. The ride will be some 2 060km long with around 20 110m of climbing, and should take them just over a month to complete. They are riding mountain bikes and plan to stick to dirt roads as far possible, although certain sections necessitate some tar miles. To follow their journey and to donate to the cause, check out their official Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Cycling-For-Sight-Border-to-Coast-1184494934916848/). Lion’s Pennypinchers Karoo to Coast Entries are now closed. Substitutions are open but riders need to find someone who wants to sell their entry through social media platforms. There are LIMITED reserved Karoo to Coast entries for those who are still entering the Pennypinchers Dr Evil Classic. This three-day stage event (72.4km day one, 50.2km day two, 37.8km day three) is the ideal warm up event for Karoo to Coast. Seeding for the Karoo to Coast will take place in August and riders will be sent their race numbers thereafter. All proceeds from the event go to charity. Contact zandile@karootocoast.com for more.
  21. Entries for the iconic Pennypinchers Lions Karoo to Coast are now sold out. However, there are a limited number of entries still available, reserved exclusively for those who will still enter the Pennypichers Dr Evil Classic. Click here to view the article
  22. “You can still secure an entry for the Lions Karoo to Coast if you enter the Dr Evil Classic before the 31st May 2016,” explains event co-owner Zandile Meneses. “Riders will also get a preferential start group in the Karoo to Coast if they ride both events,” she says. According to Meneses, proactive riders will also qualify for a R200 discount on their Dr Evil Classic entry, if they get in touch with her directly on zandile@drevilclassic.com. Now in its fifth year, the three-day Pennypinchers Dr Evil Classic, will feature a number of new innovations, chief of which is having a different start/finish village for each of the three days. Taking place from 15-17 September 2016 the stage race will offer a rare opportunity to traverse some of the prime private farms and nature reserves around Plettenberg Bay, Wittedrift and Crags area. Days One and Two will each be around 80 kilometres in length, with Day Three less than 50km in order for riders also doing the Lions Karoo to Coast to save their legs. The routes will be made up of a combination of singletrack, scenic district roads and forest trails. The event prides itself in the fact that nowhere in the country can you ride indigenous forests as is possible on the Garden Route. Not only that, but the entire event is ‘all about the rider.’ “Our philosophy is all about taking care of the rider,” Meneses says. “From the stuffed goodie bag to gorgeous meals prepared by our chef… A complimentary Red Bridge Craft Brewery beer after stage one, and award-winning Kay and Monty wine with lunch, each day." The event sold out in 2015 and there will be space for only 350 riders in 2016, of which only a limited number of spots are still available. Don’t delay, enter today. More information available at http://drevilclassic.com.
  23. The 17th Pennypinchers Lions Karoo to Coast Mountain Bike Challenge will take place on 18 September 2016 over 96 kilometres from Uniondale to Knysna. Entries for the 2015 event sold out in record time and organisers expect this year to be no different. Click here to view the article
  24. “It is the ‘Argus’ of mountain biking,” commented 2015 winner Matt Beers (RED-E Cannondale). “Riders are always going to come back to improve their time,” he said. “It’s such an amazing route with such a vast contrast of scenery and terrain. Also, it sets a great challenge for any rider – its not too technical, so people who want to accomplish a goal of riding 100km on a MTB, can do so.” Matt Beers at Diepwalle Forest, Karoo to Coast 2015. © Desmond Scholtz Beers, who originally hails from Knysna, won’t be enjoying too much of the scenery up the sharp end of the race however, as he looks to defend his title in 2016. “The racing is super fast all the time,” he commented. “Everyone is checking who has legs on the day. There's a lot of attacking in the early stages of the race, especially if there are some big teams with riders looking after the strongest rider the team. In that respect its very similar to a road race – extremely tactical.” “The fast, flowing district roads make for super fast racing,” agreed defending women’s champ Robyn de Groot (Ascendis Health). De Groot will be hunting a hat trick, having claimed the title in both 2014 and 2015. “It does remind me somewhat of road racing, where bunches are vital,” she said. “There are some nice punchy climbs which allow for some good racing!” In the interest of maintaining the quality of the iconic event (and to ease the registration process) the Lions Clubs of Uniondale and Knysna has decided that only 4200 entries will be made available in 2016. These entries will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. No substitutions will be allowed after 15 August. The entry fee is R450.00 and includes dinner in Uniondale on Saturday 17th September. The event is owned by the Lions Clubs of Uniondale and Knysna and all proceeds from the event go to Sightfirst, the South African Guide Dog Association and other urgent needs in the community. For more information and to enter, visit www.karootocoast.com.
  25. Beers who recently signed with the RED-E Cannondale team crossed the line ahead of Adriaan Louw (Contego) and some 4300 other cyclists on the 16th edition of the iconic event. The event is owned by the Lions Clubs of Knysna and Uniondale. The major beneficiary of this event is the SightFirst Project for sight restoration operations in the Southern Cap and Karoo, for those who cannot afford them. The Lions Clubs also support the South African Guide Dog Association and many other positive projects. Matt Beers Karoo to Coast 2015. Beers went into the race as something of an underdog, just the way he likes it. “I love being a dark horse,” he said, “there’s less hype around you and you can stay more relaxed.” The racing was hot and fast right from the gun as Gert Heyns (Scott) and Beers hit the Wapad Climb. “We hit the first climb very fast just to see how the others would respond,” Beers explains. “There was a small group which stayed together for a while. We where all individual riders there where no teammates amongst the riders so was quite a lot of looking at each other seeing who would set the pace.” The group eventually started working together near the end and the subsequent pace saw a few guys get dropped. “As we hit the bottom of Gouna I knew this is where its all going to start going crazy,” Beers said. Five riders were together at the time and it was Heyns who set the early pace into the climb. This shattered the group a bit but after some chasing everything came back together again. “I started going for it because I knew the only way to get rid of some of the guys was to get to the top and of the climb before them and then they wouldn't catch us on the descent Alan Gordon, Adriaan Louw and myself got away from the others at the top and started time-trailing it along the tar road to the finish.” Beers and Louw managed to get a gap on Gordon and continued to build the pressure. “I just went as hard as I could, sitting on the front with Adriaan behind me because I knew he would out-sprint me at the end if we went around the corner together. I just pushed as hard as I could just to get a bike-length gap and the I knew I would be able to hold it till the finish and it ended up working.” “I was over the moon!” For more details, photographs and results please view www.karootocoast.com.
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