The 2016 Pennypichers Dr Evil Classic will feature the best mountain-biking the Garden Route has to offer. This year will be something of a coming-of-age for the event. Now five-years-old, the three-day stage race, which takes place from 15-17 September will feature a number of new innovations, chief of which is having a different start/finish village for each of the three days.
“This means no doubling up on routes in and out the villages,” explains route designer and event co-owner Leon Evans. “It also makes for three very diverse riding days,” says Evans, who himself rides a lot and designed the routes to take in a combination of all his favourite rides.
The event prides itself in the fact that nowhere in the country can you ride indigenous forests as is possible on the Garden Route and will offer a rare opportunity to traverse some of the prime private farms and nature reserves around Plettenberg Bay, Wittedrift and Crags area.
The routes will be made up of a combination of singletrack, scenic district roads and forest trails. Stage one will be 72.4km with 1201m ascent from Wittedrift High School featuring forest and farmland trails. Stage two is perhaps the mainstay with 50.2km with some 980m of climbing taking in the memorable coastal trails of the Harkerville area. And, the third and final stage will be 37.8km with 1120m of climbing through the Plettenberg Bay Winelands.
“All routes are designed more for the average rider,” says Evans. “However they’re also challenging enough for those wanting to race.” According to Evans the emphasis of the event is on the quality of the ride and is the only time that riders will have access to the entire route, as there are many private landowners. The idea of the shorter final day is so that riders also doing the Lions Karoo to Coast to save their legs.
Indeed, the Dr Evil Classic is an ideal warm-up for Pennypinchers Lions Karoo to Coast and also the only way of still securing an entry into that sold-out event – Dr Evil has reserved a limited number of entries for those still wanting to do both events. If you’ve already entered Karoo to Coast and you enter the Dr Evil Classic, you will secure you a preferential start position.
The event sold out in 2015 and there will be space for only 350 riders in 2016, of which only a limited number of spots are still available. Enter directly through firstname.lastname@example.org.