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Rain doesn’t dampen Knysna Cycle Tour road race

Thousands of cyclists turned up at the start of this morning’s Knysna Cycle Tour road races despite chilly, wet conditions and, according to Marketing Manager Andrew Finn, speaking on behalf of the organisers, Knysna Rotary, the event went off smoothly.

The event followed yesterday’s MTB races, the opening event of the annual Knysna Oyster Festival.

Rainhardt Marais, Clint Hendricks and Nolan Hoffman

First time winner of the Elite men’s 116 km race, 28-year-old Clint Hendricks (ProTouch) said it was a cold start but not too early and the race was “pretty aggressive” with lots of great riders and pro cycling teams supporting it.

Hendricks’ winning time was 2:56:10. He beat Nolan Hoffman (Team Enza) (2:57:26) and Rainhardt Marais (Alpha Bodyworks) who was a split second behind Hoffman.

Says Hendricks: “We came here with five riders, lots of sprinters, not so many climbers, so we had our work cut out today. There were lots of flurry attacks and we just had to be active. Eventually myself and Nolan (Hoffman) rode across to a big group that got a big gap and there we just tried to keep it controlled. I attacked at the bottom of the climb and I had good legs and kept it all the way to the line.”

The race featured a new route this year with a total ascent of 1,351 m and a 2,1 km section of gravel on the Seven Passes Road.

“The gravel section was very interesting. It put something different into the race and I was open minded about it. For some reason I was very relaxed and calm the whole day. There was not a lot of pressure on the team or me to win the race. There were some good lines on the gravel that you could follow so it’s not really dangerous. Obviously, the rain made it a bit soft, but it was pretty nice.”

Hendricks and his teammates are flying to Europe for six weeks next Saturday to do a tour in Poland then spend a couple of weeks in Portugal before the African Games in August in Morocco.

Lucy James and Tiffany Keep

Winner of the Elite women’s race, Tiffany Keep said that this was her first Knysna Cycle Tour event but she will definitely be back for more. She beat Lucy James (317:49) and Helen Gebreyesus (3:25:10).

Marketing Director of the Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour, Andrew Finn said that the weekend of cycling events had gone extremely well, despite the wet and windy conditions. “Yesterday’s conditions were perfect for the mountain bikers because it wasn’t too wet but today there was lots of rain. It didn’t seem to dampen spirits and we were very pleased with the turnout and felt the event went smoothly.

“The SPUR Children’s Cycle Tour was lots of fun although the rain kept some families in bed this morning.”

All the results from the weekend’s races are on www.racetec.co.za.


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Heyns and De Groot defend MTB titles at Knysna Cycle Tour

Cyclists participating in this year’s Knysna Cycle Tour presented by Knysna Rotary were faced with windy conditions and a downpour just after the start at the first major sporting event of this year’s Knysna Oyster Festival. The event kicked off with four MTB races – 80km, 50km, 30km and 15km.

The 80km event was won by Gert Heyns, his second consecutive win in two years, in a time of 3:18:16. Second was Marco Joubert in 3:20:58 followed by Robert Hobson in 3:24:27.

Gert Heyns said he was very happy to take the win again after last year’s victory.

“It was quite a good way to test my form ahead of SA MTB Marathon Champs next weekend,“ he said. “It was perfect conditions out there today, a bit windy but not too slippery.  It was a very enjoyable race.

“I got away just past halfway with Marco Joubert. We rode together for quite a bit and then I managed to get away from him and just stay out in front. It was quite hard, but I was feeling good.”

Heyns said he enjoyed the new route that Knysna Rotary designed this year.

“There’s quite a few nice new sections of single track at the beginning which makes it more interesting,” he said. “It makes everyone a bit more tired early on. It’s quite a fast three hours but it’s a good route.”

First home in the Elite women’s race was defending champion Robyn de Groot in a fast 3:47:48, with Hayley Preen more than 15 minutes behind her in 4:04:04. In third place, Courteney Webb was almost 10 minutes behind Preen in 4:14:35.

Robyn de Groot said that the race was “slightly different to last year with interesting single track at the start, which was really fun. Also, coming into the finish on the field was quite different.”

De Groot took the lead early on in the race. “I think already in the school single track I was away, so it was a bit of a lonely day out but a good session none the less. The changes to the route this year were fantastic, and the vegetation was really nice. Well done to everyone who participated under tough conditions – with the rain and the wind it was quite hard.”

Race Marketing Director Andrew Finn said that the event was a great success despite the weather. “Most of the registered riders turned up for their events and we’ve had great feedback so far about our new routes. The finish on the field worked very well for spectators. Finn thanked the sponsors, particularly Elite Marquees, SPUR, Coca-Cola and Powerade, and Allsound, as well as the cyclists. “The sponsors and riders make this event possible and their support and participation is what enables Rotary to do so much good work in the Knysna area every year,” he said.

Tomorrow sees the Knysna Cycle Tour Road Races and the SPUR Children’s Tour. The start and finish of both events are on the Knysna High School sports field which makes for great spectator viewing. There are food and sports clothing stalls on the field, a beer marquee and music for the adults and lots of entertainment for kiddies at the SPUR Race Village.

For more info visit www.knysnacycle.co.za. For info about the Knysna Oyster Festival visit www.oysterfestival.co.za.


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BREAKING NEWS: Route changes for the 104 km Road Race!

Due to concerns by CSA officials about the safety of cyclists riding the new Buffalo Bay section of the route, we have officially changed the 104 km route to a new 116 km route.

The new route is very similar to the route of the last eight years. Cyclists leave Knysna and ride on the N2 west through Sedgefield and then continue on the N2 until they reach Kleinkranz where they will do a 180 degree turn and ride back through Sedgefield along the N2.

From there they will proceed to the Barrington/ Karatara turn off to ascend to Barrington. At Barrington the route turns left onto the Seven Passes Road to Karatara. This is the 2.1 km gravel section of the route.

From Karatara it’s downhill to the Groenvlei intersection on the N2 and then back to Knysna.

116 km route overview:

  • Start in Waterfront Drive, Knysna and ride along the Knysna Lagoon road towards George on the N2
  • Climb Keytersnek (150 m assent) and proceed to Sedgefield along the rolling hills of this N2 section
  • Continue to Kleinkranz and do a 180 degree turn back to Sedgefield
  • Turn left off the N2 at the Karatara turnoff and climb the road to Barrington. This is the climb of the ride through farmland and indigenous bush! Hopefully your attention will be distracted by the scenic mountain views
  • At the Barrington T-junction, turn left onto the Seven Passes Road. Cyclists will ride approx. 2,1 km of good gravel road through the forest and across the bridge over the Knysna River
  • Turn left at the Karatara turnoff and cycle back down to the N2 through picturesque farmland with stunning mountain views
  • Turn left to Knysna onto the N2 at Groenvlei and ride back towards Knysna. You will encounter the mini Keytersnek 3 km climb before the final climb of the ride
  • Climb Keytersnek (heartbreak hill 150 m assent), a final 2 km climb
  • Cruise east along the beautiful Knysna Lagoon road to the Finish in Waterfront Drive
  • Total distance +- 116 km

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Top 10 things you need to know before you race!

There are a number of race rules and safety regulations which you should be aware of before your race this weekend. These are the top 10. You can familiarise yourself with the others on our website: www.knysnacycle.co.za

  1. In the event of not being able to be at registration, you can arrange with a relative or friend to collect your race pack. They need to prove that you have given them permission to collect your race pack via letter, email or sms.
  2. All riders are required to ride with RaceTec Timing devices – either a timing chip for the Road Races or a RacTec timing board for the MTB Races – these can be purchased when entering the event or at registration.
  3. Riders must wear a bicycle helmet, with the strap securely fastened tightly under his/her chin. NO HELMET, NO RIDE.
  4. Cyclists must be in their respective holding areas at least 30 minutes before the start of their race. Once in the area, participants may not leave.
  5. Participants must not use personal music devices, radio communication devices or mobile telephones whilst riding. However, members of professional teams may use radio communication devices if they are in accordance with UCI rules and regulations which can be found at www.cyclingsa.com.
  6. Cyclists may not ride with another participant’s timing chip or number or give his/her participant number or timing chip to another participant.
  7. You may not start, or attempt to start before your designated start group.
  8. Riders should familiarise themselves with the route for their event/s which are on the website: www.knysnacycle.co.za
  9. An additional late entry fee of R50 will be charged for late entries for all MTB and Road Races, except the 30 km and 15 km MTB race, for which the late entry fee is R30.
  10. Late entries will not be accepted on the morning of the event.

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

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 104 km ride. Says Finn: “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.

“Leaving and returning to Knysna along the N2, cyclists will experience the Knysna Lagoon then, after the first big climb up Kytersnek they will turn off to Buffalo Bay with all its beautiful views of the sea en route to what is arguably the best beach and surfing spot in the Knysna area. Then, after another stretch along the N2, there will be some great climbs through natural forests and farmlands on the way up to Barrington.

“The most interesting addition to this race is a brief 2,1 km 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 was asked to contribute to a route redesign for the 30 and 50 km MTB routes and to incorporate more single track, making the routes more fun and technically challenging. The idea with both the mountain and road events is to show off some of the areas where the Knysna locals ride.

“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.”

Says Finn: “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 first sections of the route, including a lap of the stunning Oakhill Sports Campus purpose-designed track, the Life of Brian single track link to Narnia Village, the Knysna Montessori single track to the drop-off onto the Salt River farm track, and the iconic SANParks single-track Petrus Se Brand through to Harkerville.


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Fun & entertainment at the SPUR Race Village

There will be lots of fun and entertainment for the whole family at this year’s SPUR Children’s Cycle Tour at the SPUR Race Village where families are invited to spend time before, during and after the events.

The cycle tour takes place on Sunday 23 June at the Knysna High School Sports Field with three different routes and distances for different age groups:

• 2-4 years – 400 m:
A circular loop on the field. The ride is open to anything on wheels including prams, pushbikes, tricycles, small bicycles with training wheels and scooters. Helmets are recommended. All accompanying adults must be on foot.

• 5-7 years – 1,5 km:
From the field to Hedge Street, then Waterfront Drive, onto the old railway line, past the station to turn at the turntable, then back to Hedge Street and onto the field for the finish. This ride is small bicycle-friendly, and helmets are compulsory. Accompanying adults may be on foot or bicycle.

• 8-10 years – 2,5 km:
As per the 1,5 km race, but riders will continue along the railway track to Long Street, turn into Waterfront Drive and then back to field. This ride is small bicycle-friendly, and helmets are compulsory. Accompanying adults may be on foot or bicycle.

Entry fees are R100 for the first rider and R50 per child for additional family members. Registration will be from 07h30 – 08h30 and the first start is at 09h00. There will be medals and goodie bags for every participant. Parents and guardians should wear flat, comfortable shoes if they want to follow their younger children on foot!

Don’t forget to dress up because there are great prizes for the best dressed participant, parent and ride! So, make sure you pimp your ride before the start!

Ongoing entertainment at the SPUR Race Village will include face painters and cheerleaders.

The SPUR Children’s Cycle Tour forms part of the annual Knysna Cycle Tour. The event is all about fitness and fun and is a great way to entertain the kids and family. You can enter your children online before 14 June at www.knysnacycle.co.za.


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WIN accommodation at Westhill Luxury Guest House!

If you’ve entered any of our 2019 events, you could win two nights’ accommodation at Westhill Luxury Guest House in Knysna, a 1920s Cape Dutch-style heritage property with panoramic views over the Knysna Estuary and through the Knysna Heads to the Indian Ocean.

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Rooms have private balconies and en-suite bathrooms, fans and air conditioning, flat screen televisions with commercial DStv packages, tea and coffee making facilities, a laptop size safe, desk and dressing table, robes and slippers and a hairdryer.

Westhill also offers free Wi-Fi, a pool, a lockable store for golf clubs and sporting equipment, a secure area for parking bicycles, secure on-site parking (with CCTV), and a guest lounge.

The prize includes breakfast each morning.

Entry into the competition is open to any cyclist who has entered a Knysna Cycle Tour Race.

The competition closes at midnight on Sunday, 26 May 2019 and the winner will be notified by email.

The prize is subject to availability.

To enter, simply complete the form below!



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WIN at Blackwaters River Lodge!

You can win accommodation for two people sharing at the beautiful, tranquil Blackwaters River Lodge in Knysna when you enter the Knysna Cycle Tour. Simply enter one of the events then email your name and entry number to events@knysnacycle.co.za, with “Blackwaters River Lodge” in the subject line.

The prize includes:

  • 2 nights’ accommodation in a luxury unit for 2 people sharing
  • Breakfast each morning
  • A round of golf for 2 on Blackwaters’ Par 3 golf course
  • Canoeing or stand up paddling for 2 on the tranquil Goukamma River
  • A free bicycle wash
  • Daily tea / coffee & cake in the Earth & Fire Restaurant

Competition rules:

  • Entry into the competition is open to any cyclist who has entered a Knysna Cycle Tour Race
  • The competition ends on Friday 17 May and the winner will be notified by email
  • The prize is subject to availability

For more info about Blackwaters River Lodge go to www.blackwaters.co.za



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Our MTB routes are looking great!

Our MTB routes are designed and maintained by a group of keen local cyclists led by Stuart Lightley and Greg Penrith who volunteer their time and promote the beautiful tracks available in Knysna’s backyard at every opportunity.

This year, for the first time, our 50 km and 30 km MTB events will take participants along routes marked by this group, making these events very local! Stuart is managing the Concordia section of the routes, while Greg manages the routes from Eastford Ridge though to the Oakhill Sports Campus cycle track, the Montessori Cycle Track and Salt River.

Our official route managers, Corne and Pat from Jakhals Events in Oudtshoorn will oversee safety, the marshals, and all signage on these routes amongst other things.


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Exciting new venue for registration

This year the Knysna Cycle Tour has an exciting NEW VENUE for REGISTRATION – the Parking Garage at Thesen Harbour Town.  

Thesen Harbour Town is the commercial part of the Thesen Islands residential development which is built around swimming and boating canals and lined with Cape Cod-style homes. Once a single island holding a sawmill that supplied the paper industry, Thesen Islands has since, to great environmental acclaim, been successfully rehabilitated and rejuvenated into a bustling residential and commercial centre right on the famous Knysna Lagoon.

Whatever you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it on Thesen Harbour Town – from a wide selection of dining venues to clothing and jewellery boutiques, art, furniture and lots more.

What this means is that there will be a great vibe at Registration! Just around the corner are two boutique hotels, a kiddies playground, numerous restaurants and bars, and lots of interesting shops to browse.

It will be worth a visit to the venue, even if you are not participating in one of the cycling events, to see the beautiful indigenous forest display which will be created by SANParks.

Registration at the Thesen Harbour Town Parking Garage will be at this time:

Friday 21 June: 10h00 – 21h00.