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!  

Advertisements

How to choose which race to ride

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:

Dr Evil Classic 3 Day Stage MTB Race │15-17 September 2016 │Plettenberg Bay South Africa

Pro Cyclist Oliver Munnick

Oliver Munnuick“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


SanMari-final“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

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


Nicky-Final“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

Jacques Brink“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

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.

Our reasons why you should enter Dr Evil Classic 2016 on 15-17 September
Special Offer: Enter before 31 May 2016

Hop to it