Day 2 of the Dr Evil Classic just went next level

Johan Vorster is a passionate man and this is most clearly conveyed by his telling of plans to unlock the trail potential on Kurland Hotel and Polo Estate in the Plettenberg Bay area of the Garden Route, which happens to be the start venue for Day 2 of the Dr Evil Classic, the 3 day mountain bike stage race that takes place from 19-21 September.

Perhaps best known for his Hakahana Enduro-style trail network in Gauteng, Johan and his team have built roughly 15kms of hand-built single-track at Kurland and by the middle of next year he expects to have completed a very special series of trails across the estate. 

“We are building a different kind of trail here. This is proper riding,” says Johan.

“I would call this an aspirational trail – we will have all the elements for the gravity guys but a kid on a 20 inch bike will be able to ride the trail. You choose how you take it on.”

This project presents a great opportunity for Leon Evans, aka Dr Evil, who will treat 350 riders to the 8th edition of a stage race  that has become synonymous with fun and adventure (and certainly not for punishing “evil” trails – his work on the Cape Epic route design earned Leon this nickname).

“This really helps us to offer a whole lot more on day 2, as we will include at least 8kms of Johan’s new trail. Previously day 2 was largely made up of a lot of good quality jeep track, as we would rather use good jeep track than supply substandard single-track – but this seriously fun section of single-track with loads of flowing descent and a beautiful climb, takes things up a level,” says Leon.

Johan describes the treat that Dr Evil Classic riders have in store: “Leon is tapping into the two primary flowy descents that we have built so far. The first is about 1,5kms of what we call Glenn’s Gamble”, he says. This section is  named after master trail builder of Berg & Bush/Joburg2c fame, Glenn Harrison, who came to assist the team in building this section.

“This takes you down to the pavilion and you meander on the estate for a while, then you will join a climb through the forest on a custom single track with switchbacks. From there you have the second descent, about 2,5kms of flowy trails in pristine indigenous forest.”  

Leon says that he and his partner in the event, Zandile Meneses, are constantly looking for ways to improve the race. “When we started the event, we were based at one location with 3 different loops per day. We needed more variation so we changed to 3 different and diverse race villages less than 20km apart, which has enhanced the rider experience hugely,” he said. 

Dr Evil Classic Lean Evans

The venues are Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve (Registration and Day 1), Kurland Hotel and Polo Estate (Day 2) and Cairnbrogie Dairy Farm (Day 3), and with the catering at the race villages provided by well-known chef Grant Ludski from Knysna Hollow, the hospitality aspect of the event has become as popular as the route. With no tented accommodation as part of the race entry, riders are free to stay in their own choice of accommodation, and the Plettenberg Bay area has a wide range of options for any budget.

When asked what makes The Dr Evil Classic so special and what the biggest challenge is for riders, Leon wryly responds: “I think the most challenging part of the event is to just get here. Then the fun begins. About 170km of sublime countryside spread over 3 days should not be intimidating to anyone.” 

He hesitates to isolate a highlight, but says: “the diverse terrain – forest, mountain and coastal routes all with exceptional views, the quality of the ride and the fact that it’s generally non-technical.” 

And Dr Evil knows what technical looks like. 

Enter the Dr Evil Classic at www.drevilclassic.co.za or email zandile@drevilclassic.co.za for a manual entry.

Remember you can use the Dr Evil Classic as a warm up ride for the Karoo to Coast 100km Mountain Bike Challenge, which will happen on Sunday 22 September (it starts in Uniondale and ends in Knysna). This race is also a seeding event for the 2020 Cape Town Cycle Tour, and all Dr Evil riders receive automatic second batch seeding for the Karoo to Coast. Enter the Karoo to Coast at www.karootocoast.co.za or email zandile@karootocoast.co.za for a manual entry. 

Great news for those entering both events: there is a prize to the value of R 50 000 for the rider with the fastest combined times. “The Best of both Worlds” winner will be set for the 2020 editions of the races, with the prize comprising 2 nights for 2 at Kurland Hotel and Polo Estate during the Dr Evil Classic 2020, and 2 nights for 2 people at Pocket Breaks in Knysna during the Karoo to Coast 2020. Two Karoo to Coast entries and one Dr Evil entry, a Super Scott hamper and R 5000 in cash, is all included in the prize!  

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Dr Evil Changing Direction

3 days, 3 incredible Race Villages

Leon Evans’ signature event – the Dr Evil Classic MTB Race – is changing direction for this year’s 3-stage race in September. In order to showcase even more of the gorgeous Garden Route, Dr Evil himself has shifted the route to include 3 separate race villages for each day of the hotly anticipated event. The race will start and end at the same village each day, making it easy for riders to park at each unique venue, ride the route and finish at that same venue.

Dr-Evil-Classic-2016

The essence of the Dr Evil Classic, now in its fifth year, is to experience the pristine trails of the Garden Route, which are definitely some of the best in the country. September is the perfect time of year for a mountain bike race of this magnitude as the weather is generally crisp and clear. It’s time to peddle through the areas around Plettenberg Bay, challenge yourself to 3 days of tough and beautiful trails and take in the sights and sounds of one of South Africa’s most spectacular and untouched regions.  The routes will be made up of a combination of single track, scenic district roads and forest trails.

Every year, Leon Evans aka Dr Evil works hard to develop a unique and varied route and will announce the final route maps and profiles in the coming months. But here is what we do know about the race villages and stages:

Stage One Race Village: Wittedrift High School

Day One will bring mainly indigenous forest/plantation riding with breathtaking scenery along the mountain side of the N2. A day well spent in the forest and a maximum of 75km.

Dr-Evil-Classic-Day-1

Early Bird Special Offer

Stage Two Race Village: Cairnbrogie Farm

Get ready for those ocean views! Day Two is a coastal route – a lot of single track – taking in the best tracks in Harkerville and a maximum of 55km.

Dr-Evil-Classic-Day-2

Stage Three Race Village: Kay & Monty Vineyards

Now this will be something special – biking through the Plett Winelands! Day Three will be held at the award winning Kay and Monty Vineyards that boasts a new wine tasting and function venue, which has direct access to the Keurbooms pine plantations.

Dr-Evil-Classic-Day-3

Also new to the event this year, is a corporate category.  We’re looking to encourage some friendly competition amongst business owners, both locally and nationally.  The Corporate option is for two riders only i.e. – a team entry and not a solo entry.

Corporate Challenge Entries

Booking Information:

Entries are open for the Pennypinchers Dr Evil Classic, which will take place from 15-17 September 2016. The event sold out in 2014 and 2015 and there will only be space for 350 riders in 2016.

The 2016 route maps, profiles and detailed information will be available at drevilclassic.com soon. The Pennypinchers Lions Karoo to Coast Mountain Bike Challenge is a separate event that takes place on Sunday 18th September 2016.

Riders who enter the Dr Evil Classic will receive a preferential start in the Pennypinchers Lions Karoo to Coast Mountain Bike Challenge. Riders who enter the Lions Karoo to Coast and wish to ride the Dr Evil Classic will receive a R200 discount on their Dr Evil entry.

Early Bird Special Offer

Enter now and win: Enter before the 31st of March 2016 and you could stand a chance to win three nights for a max of 10 people at the fantastic luxury Rare Earth Country Estate located at the Kay and Monty Vineyards. This accommodation is valued at R34 000 and you will also receive a R2 500 voucher from Cape Union Mart – the event merchandise partner. There are also two solo or one team entry for Dr Evil up for grabs.

For more information, visit www.drevilclassic.com or mail zandile@drevilclassic.com