With over 750 MTB events throughout South Africa, riders are spoilt for choice in selecting the races they choose to ride and run the risk of spending more time racing than training.
We asked some of our favourite riders how they decide which races to enter and what motivates them to try a new race:
Pro Cyclist Oliver Munnick
“Having ridden for more than 10 years, I am lucky enough to have participated in a huge variety of events throughout South Africa, a few more than once! For this reason the primary motivation I have when considering entering an event is whether or not I have participated before. Nowadays, I’m more inclined to choose an event that I haven’t done before. Another important consideration is whether it fits into my work schedule – sometimes deadlines get in the way of events and it’s just not possible to make it.”
Pro Women’s Cyclist SanMari Woithe
“With so many events to choose from I make a point of specifically choosing events that I haven’t done before. It is always good to do new events… see different places… meet new people… ride unfamiliar trails. Life should be interesting, not a repetition of doing the same thing over and over again. I think our (Merrell Ladies’) emphasis is enjoying our ride and having fun, not specifically winning the race. I am very thankful and privileged with my Merrell sponsorship allowing me the freedom to choose from any event in the country. Planning my events around my children’s sporting and cultural activities, is also important to me.
The Dr Evil Classic is an event that we always wanted to tick off because of good feedback from previous events and off course… it is the most beautiful part of our country we will be riding in! Merrell ladies are looking forward “Getting Outside” and having lots of fun :)”
Pro Cyclist Darren Lill
“Exposure for sponsors. Time of season – is it a target event, or an event that in a stepping stone / good training block leading up to a target event. Prize money, and hand in hand with that – how well do the race organisers treat the pro teams i.e. do they offer a complimentary entry.”
Pro Women’s Cyclist Nicky Giliomee
“An event that has balance in its technical terrain, scenery and make-up is always a big pull factor for me. The Dr Evil Classic takes you through beautiful lush indigenous forest the one minute and the next minute you are following smooth manicured trails along the coast, what more could you ask for?”
“The Dr Evil classic is an amazing race, technical enough for the racing snakes but approachable enough for the weekend warriors, all in all, a great family event.”
Jacques Brink – owner of Knysna Cycle Works and “Mayor” of Cycling in Knysna
“The route plays a huge roll in choosing a event for me , The DR Evil always have a little variation of a similar route , good balance of road , jeep track and of course singe track. Harkerville is iconic! (the holy grail) . Great atmosphere at the race registration, the village vibe and the community spirit! Water points with a difference, getting your muddy glasses washed by the water point , a bit more than you expect from a water point!
I grade races on the presentation and in the innovative way it’s marketed , also the commercial valve of the race ! Bigger is not better, that close knit family feeling , the presence of the organization to the customers (riders needs at heart) Dr Evil just does it for me in every way every year I’v done it; it’s the “Vibe” of the event , keep it up 👍”
Passionate Cyclist – Janette Coetzee
“These days we are spoiled for choice. I have certain areas in South Africa, that doesn’t require a lot of traveling, where I like to ride my bike (accessible). Entering a race, logistics play a major role. A clover leaf format and accommodation within riding distance from the start. I don’t like high profile races, small field, rather than all the pro’s in the sport. Organisation is very important. Then the route… Not too technical, daily distance that is done by lunchtime. I love race merchandise. It’s my way of showing how far I have come in cycling. Looking at Dr Evil Classic, it pretty much fits the profile. Organisation is top class. From the information on the website to the affordable entry fee. It’s held in an area where one is spoiled for choice when looking for accommodation. The routes are tough, but manageable. After all, it is Dr Evil. And the support during and after the race, is superior. The team is always willing to go the extra mile. And you get spoiled with an awesome goodie bag! Not often you can wear a buff with Harkerville forest on it! This race is not a high profile pro race and that gives the weekend warrior a chance to get on the podium. Awesome scenery. Well balanced route and trails. Limited small field. Affordable entry fee. Lots of character! And a country feel to it! Proudly signed off by Dr Evil 👹 I have done 3 out of the 4 Dr Evil Classics. Looking forward to number 4 in September!
As you can see riders have their own opinions at to what makes a race unmissable – season, new routes, spoils for riders, technical terrain and scenery. This is one of the reasons that Dr Evil Classic has rolled out our new 3 race villages for our 2016 event. 3 days, 3 beautiful routes and 3 fun villages.