The sold out Buco Lions Karoo to Coast Mountain Bike Challenge, the popular 100km one day race from Uniondale to Knysna via the Prince Alfred’s Pass, taking place on 23 September, has reserved a few entries for riders who are yet to enter the Buco Dr Evil Classic 3 Day Stage Race, which is on the preceding three days, from 20-22 September.
For those riders kicking themselves for not getting a Karoo to Coast entry, and who are keen for a particularly active weekend on the bike when the next public holiday weekend rolls around, the Dr Evil Classic 3 Day Stage Race can be used as a warm up or tapering event before the Karoo to Coast, and securing one of the remaining 15 entries will qualify you to grab one of the reserved Karoo to Coast entries.
The combination of the Dr Evil Classic and the Karoo to Coast offers four days of mountain biking bliss for the adventurous. The Dr Evil Classic takes riders from the new venue of Plett Game Reserve, through beautiful indigenous forest and along a coastline with spectacular views.
Day one is 72km (1350m elevation) and explores tracks through the Plett Game Reserve, one of the very small number of game reserves on the Southern Cape coastline. Day two is around 75km (980m of elevation) on the 700-hectare private estate Kurland Hotel and Polo Estate, situated between the mountains and the pristine beaches of Nature’s Valley. Day three is about 50km (850m of elevation) and starts at Cairnbrogie Dairy Farm with its now-famous network of singletrack, which forms part of the Robberg Coastal Corridor. Here you will be blown away by the views over the cliffs onto the Indian Ocean.
Riders need not be scared off by the race being named after route designer and co-owner of the event, Leon Evans. The nickname Dr Evil stems from his days developing some of the killer sections of the Absa Cape Epic route. After many years of being asked to develop a stage race in his own backyard, he developed this adventurous, beautiful and challenging (but not killer) stage race on the Garden Route.
“The idea was to create routes that are interesting, scenic and will test those who set out with the intention of racing, but not be too difficult or long for those wanting to enjoy the ride at a lesser pace.”
The natural beauty of the route is a definite drawcard. “Nowhere in the country can you ride indigenous forests as you can here,” he says.
Take friends and family
Evans points out that this is a perfect weekend to share your riding experience with the family or friends, as there is much on offer on the Garden Route this Heritage Day weekend.
“At the Plett Game Reserve venue, supporters will be able to go on game drives while waiting for the riders to return, and at Kurland which is the country’s premier venue for equestrian events, there will be a major equestrian event at the same time as day two, which supporters can enjoy while the riders are out on course.”
There are special accommodation packages available for Dr Evil Classic entrants, at the Baroness Lodge in the Plett Game Reserve and at Plett River Lodge, with ample further accommodation options near all of the venues. Each of the three start venues is within 20kms of the other, so you can opt to stay in one place for the duration of the event if that suits you, your family and friends.
Those taking part in both events will receive an automatic second group start (out of seven starts) at the Karoo to Coast, and with the final stage of Dr Evil Classic being a shorter 50km, there is time for all transfers on the Saturday before the Karoo to Coast start. Riders will also receive their Buco Lions Karoo to Coast race numbers at the Dr Evil registration so they do not have to register in Uniondale.
To get your Buco Dr Evil Classic entry, go to drevilclassic.com.
You can contact Zandile (on firstname.lastname@example.org) for a manual entry, in order to receive details of how to secure the Karoo to Coast entry. Entries close on 30 August or when they are sold out.