Knysna-Plett Herald

Dr Evil still on the cards for Plett

- Blake Linder

PLETTENBER­G BAY - Despite the recent announceme­nt that the 2021 Karoo to Coast (K2C) will not go ahead, Dr Evil Classic will still go ahead as planned later this month. The two events typically run hand in hand, with the K2C following on from the Dr Evil Classic, a three-day stage race around the greater Plettenber­g Bay area. But this year, due to Covid-19, cycling enthusiast­s will only have one race available - Dr Evil - after organisers received permission from the Western Cape Department of Health and Bitou Municipali­ty.

“This stage race, planned for 23 to 25 September, does not have a tented village and our dedicated Covid-19 compliance officer has created a plan that will maximise the safety of crew and riders,” said event co-owner Zandile Meneses. “The event is also a boutique event, with a maximum of 300 entries and with staggered starts, no spectators and minimum seating inside - we are confident that we can take care of all who attend.”

The organisers are still encouragin­g entries for the e-bike category, which has a record number of entries this year and will have a separate start category as opposed to previous years. There are fewer than 25 spots left. Race co-founder Leon Evans says, “There are many e-bikes being sold these days, and we feel it’s important to cater for this group of people who also want to experience stage racing. We permit any type of bike at the Dr Evil Classic, gravel bikes included. Personally, I think the routes are more suited to MTBs, but there are some folk out there who like to push their limits with gravel or single-speed bikes.” Safari Braai has come on as a new partner with a pop-up braai station planned at one of the water points. The event also has an Ozone Africa Pod on site for rider recovery and the usual massage and technical support packages will be available.

In 2021 the start groups will be seeded into less than 100 riders per start and there will be short start intervals to decrease congestion. The routes have been tweaked by Leon Evans (aka Dr Evil) and stage two will start from the majestic Kurland Pavilion and not Kurland’s Katarina Restaurant as in 2019. “There has been a large increase in entries since the event received permission as riders just want to get out and enjoy the thrill of competing in an event. This event is the perfect size for us to ease back in to business,” Meneses explained.

With a different start venue for each stage (but all within 20 kilometres of each other), riders experience a very different type of landscape each day.

The first stage leaves from Plettenber­g Game Reserve with wildlife on view from the bike, then heads out for a scenic 70odd kilometre mountainou­s ride. Day two starts at Kurland Hotel and Polo Estate and is mostly made up of indigenous and plantation forest covering a distance of about 45km. The estate continues to expand its network of single track and 2021 riders will reap the benefits. Day three is 50km, starting at Cairnbrogi­e Dairy Farm with its renowned network of single track along a coastline which forms part of the Robberg Coastal Corridor.

If you are interested in grabbing one of the last spots, you can sign up at www. drevilclas­ or e-mail zandile@ drevilclas­ for a manual entry.

 ?? Photo: ?? Stage three of the 2019 Dr Evil Classic started and finished at Cairnbrogi­e farm, just outside Plettenber­g Bay.
Photo: Stage three of the 2019 Dr Evil Classic started and finished at Cairnbrogi­e farm, just outside Plettenber­g Bay.

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