Perched over the lagoon, the Knysna Yacht Club will provide a spectacular new start and finish venue for the opening stage of the Garden Route 300 mountain bike race next month.
Race director Patric Mosterd said the event, which takes place in and around the indigenous forests of the coastal hamlet from April 28 to 30, had settled on a choice selection of locations for each of the stages.
“The venues have been chosen to upgrade the riders’ experience another notch and the Knysna Yacht Club will be the only venue in town,” he said.
Even then, he added, day one’s official finish line would be at the edge of the suburban part of Knysna, allowing riders to enjoy a cool-down section to the race village.
“It will also eliminate unnecessary risks from having to race through traffic.”
Besides day one, he said all the venues were closer to the forest, or even in the forest, and would make for a much safer journey for the riders.
Mosterd said the yacht club would be the hub of operations building up to the race as it would also be the venue for registration.
He said participants would be able to collect their numbers and goodie bags from 4pm to 9pm at the venue on April 27, while supper would be available from 6pm.
“Besides the spectacular environment that the yacht club offers, it is close to the Waterfront, giving riders a wide variety of entertainment options both before and after the race.”
The second stage will take place in the Garden Route Trail Park, with the start and finish on an adjacent dairy farm.
“There will be showers and lunch at the venue for all competitors,” said Mosterd.
He felt one of the highlights of the race would be the prize-giving and final luncheon at the Simola Golf Estate, in front of which the third stage would start and finish.
“This is a five-star venue with spectacular views over Knysna and on the doorstep of the final day’s uphill finish.”
Mosterd said each venue would comfortably cater for the riders’ needs.
“They each have a unique atmosphere and lunch will be served at the venues, creating a varied experience each day.
“Each venue has plenty of parking, but participants are encouraged to ride their bikes to the starts of day one and day three.”
Mosterd said they had introduced a number of initiatives to ensure the quality of the event and he asked starters to download the GPX files to their navigation devices to assist them on the route.
“We would like to see if we can get everyone on this type of navigation system to add a new element of adventure,” he said.
“Tom-Tom will be present at the race to assist anyone who might want more information.”
Go to www.gardenrouteevents.co.za for more info or to enter.