- Knysna Cycle Tour entries now open
- Knysna is green again
- Knysna Speed Festival new event organisers
KNYSNA, South Africa, 25 January 2020 – Entries for the Knysna Cycle Tour, taking place on 27 and 28 June are now open online at www.knysnacycle.co.za. As one of South Africa’s iconic cycling experiences, the various events making up the tour are set to challenge and entertain all levels of riders.
The Knysna Cycle Tour, an anchor event of the Knysna Oyster Festival, turns 33 this year and is still one of the country’s oldest and favourite cycling festivals, attracting all kinds of participants from all walks of life to ride the roads in the awesome scenery of the area.
Knysna is green again and the beauty is back! The devastating fires of 2017 and 2018 had a hefty impact on local residents, businesses, the environment, tourism and participation in the cycle tour. With good rains having fallen over the past few years, nature has bounced back as it always does, and the routes for this year will once again be spectacularly beautiful.
Mountain biking DNA runs deep in the area. Knysna is one of the original mountain biking towns that rose to prominence in the late 1980s and the Knysna Cycle Tour MTB race was one of the first of its kind in the country. Since its inception Knysna Cycle Tour has become somewhat of a rite of passage for South African mountain bikers who now come in numbers to experience the ride through the captivating forests surrounding the town.
A recent MTB survey by Tread magazine rated the tour as South Africa’s fifth-best one-day MTB event over 50-80km. Its long history has not jaded its relevance and stature on the MTB calendar.
More than just a rite of passage, the unique double header event straddles two disciplines – mountain bike and road race. By running both formats a day apart road cyclists are attracted to compete in the MTB event, and MTB cyclists participate in the road race.
This year Knysna Speed Festival (Pty) Ltd, the owner and organiser of the globally recognised Simola Hillclimb motorsport lifestyle festival, will take the management and marketing reigns from Knysna Rotary Club.
“The Knysna Cycle Tour is an iconic event that has been superbly nurtured over the past 32 years by the Knysna Rotary Club,” says Knysna Speed Festival managing director, Ian Shrosbree. “The Club has decided that it’s time to hand over to a professional management company and we are humbled to be given the opportunity to build on the solid platform that exists.
“There is a lot of competition from so many good cycling events nowadays, but we believe that we can make it a must-do event once again – as it was in the early days – appealing to professional and competitive riders, families, groups of friends and children. Our organising team will be focussing on the fun element for 2020, with attention to detail across all elements, providing participants with an enjoyable, hassle free experience. In future years we aim to bring some fresh thinking and either tweak or add new elements to the mix.”
Keeping up with international trends, the MTB race this year will feature two distances for E-Bikes – 30km and 50 km. With E-bikes giving older or injured riders a new lease on cycling life, and E-bikes making up over 50% of new MTB sales in Europe, this class is set to grow very quickly over the next few years, and the Knysna Cycle Tour welcomes all E-Bikers with open arms.
For trail riders, rounding out the core MTB elements will be the 80km, 50km and 30km races taking place on Saturday as well as the Spur Children’s 15km fun ride.
As has become tradition, the road races will bring the weekend to a close on Sunday with races of 50km and 106km. Specialist elite and social riders, families as well as a large number of MTB participants that did not get enough exercise in the previous day’s MTB races, will be putting rubber to the road. The challenging and scenic routes both leave Knysna along the beautiful lagoon road heading towards George, wind up towards the forests and include some gritty gravel riding. Something different for sure!
On Sunday the Spur Children’s Tour consists of three events for kids aged 2-10: each event for a different age category. All who complete the rides are winners and will be taking home medals and very cool goodie bags. The central field and the surrounding precinct focuses on fitness and fun for the whole family – a dedicated Spur race village, face painters, cheerleaders and prizes for best dressed child, best dressed parent and best dressed ride!
Support crew and family members can enjoy activities throughout the weekend on the Knysna High School sports fields. Race registration and the Expo takes place on Friday (26 June), the races take place on Saturday and Sunday. In between, jumping castles, a beer garden, food vendors, a market and the Coke gig rig will provide food and entertainment all day long.
For more information please visit www.knysnacycle.co.za or call the race office at 044 382 7500.