New, improved routes designed by local cyclists for this year’s Knysna Cycle Tour

Local route and safety managers: Stuart Lightley, Andrew Finn, Pat October with Corne botha from Jakhals Events and Greg Penrith.

The Knysna Cycle Tour will take place in the scenic Garden Route town of Knysna over the weekend of 22 – 23 June 2019 and is one of the iconic sporting events of the Knysna Oyster Festival.

This year the organisers of the Knysna Cycle Tour have announced new, improved routes for their biggest events. Route Manager Andrew Finn said that there is an exciting new route for the longer road race, which is now a 104km ride. “The route will take riders on a thrilling, scenic adventure through one of the most picturesque sections of the Garden Route, revealing stunning views of ocean and beach, mountains and pristine forest along the way,” says Finn.

“Leaving and returning to Knysna along the N2, cyclists will experience the Knysna Lagoon, after the first big climb up Kytersnek they will turn off to Buffalo Bay. Then, after another stretch along the N2, there will be some great climbs on the way up to Barrington. The most interesting addition to this race is a brief 2,1km gravel pass along the Seven Passes Road between Barrington and Karatara. From Karatara, it’s fast downhill all the way back to the N2.”

The tour’s MTB routes have been designed and are being maintained by a group of keen local cyclists led by Stuart Lightley, Greg Penrith and David Correia who volunteer their time and promote the beautiful tracks available in Knysna’s backyard at every opportunity.
Lightley explains: “I’ve been riding mountain bikes and exploring the Knysna forests for almost 30 years and know the forest quite well. I enjoy the more technical type of riding, and actively help and encourage others to improve their technical skills. With this in mind, I have built tens of kilometres of single track, mostly in the Concordia Contours Trails area, to the north of Knysna, near Simola. We have selected a number of these trails for the mountain bike events.”

“The end result is that this year, for the first time, our 50 km and 30 km MTB events will take participants along routes created by locals. After the climb up the Simola hill both routes will use single track sections designed and built by these local track designers and builders which will add a new dimension to both events.”

“Our official route managers, Corne Botha and Pat October from Jakhals Events in Oudtshoorn will oversee safety, the marshals, and all signage on these routes amongst other things.” The MTB races have all had exciting single track added to the finish sections. Finn says that all the MTB events now finish through Eastford Country Estate and down an exciting firebreak to the stunning Oakhill School purpose-designed track. “Then there’s the last push up the hill through Narnia Farm and onto the Knysna Montessori track and back over the Salt River Farm to Knysna under the N2. Hopefully,” says Finn.

Once back at the finish on the Knysna High School sports field there’ll be plenty of entertainment for the whole family and time for cyclists to relax with food from local food stalls, listen to some music and enjoy a beer or two. Online entries for the Knysna Cycle Tour races close on 14 June.

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