Cyclists saddle up for Knysna Tour
the cold temperatures which are expected remain in single digits for most of the day in the coastal holiday town.
While the main events – the 80km and 50km races – have become must-do events for some of the country’s top cyclists who will battle it out for overall victory once again, it has also become a popular event to hone the skills of future cycling stars.
Tour marketing manager Andrew Finn said more than 100 development riders were participating this year.
“We believe it is important the sport be made accessible to anyone who previously did not have the opportunity. This will not only encourage cycling as a sport in the broader community, but also as a transport medium,” Finn said.
One of the biggest groups of development riders taking part this year is 26 cyclists from the Nedbank Sports Trust Development Cycling in Cape Town.
The organisation’s cycling programme manager Cheryl Morris said one of the main reasons the Knysna event was so popular among development riders was that it provided riders with a safe, yet challenging experience.
“It is one thing to take part in small local races. We regularly organise races within the communities we work in, but the riders need to gain proper race experience. The Momentum Weekend Argus Knysna Cycle Tour provides just that. It is a well-organised and safe environment for the young- sters to test their skills and gain valuable race experience, especially in larger groups,” Morris said.
Finn said organisers encouraged development riders to participate by giving them a substantial discount on their entry fees.
Today’s two main events – the 50km and 80km mountain bike routes – are both official premier seeding events for next year’s Cape Town Cycle Tour.
There are also less strenu- ous races, including a 30km and a 15km route which includes access to privately owned sections of property usually off-limits to the public.
The routes were set up and managed by renowned route designer Leon “Dr Evil” Evans, who also manages the Absa Cape Epic routes. Finn said while Evans ensured that cyclists would be riding through some of the most scenic areas on the Garden Route, they would also have their skills put to the test.
Tomorrow about 2 000 riders will line up for the tour’s two road races – a 115km and a 50km route. – Garden Route Media