Entries for the prestigious Garden Route 300 (GR300) 2015 mountain bike race opened on 23 July, and according to event organisers, Garden Route Events, a record number of opening day entries were received by them.
This race, which takes place over a three-day period, 27 February 2015 – 1 March 2015 will follow a shorter route through the Garden Route’s pristine forests. “The 2015 route is still being kept a secret, but what we can say it will be shorter, making the ride even more attractive as both the recommended ABSA Cape Epic prep ride, but still accommodating riders keener on participating in fun events,” said Pax Mosterd, GR 300 Route Director. Day one, dubbed as “the best route in mountain bike history”, is 87km long, day two, 80kms and day three, 76kms.
Garden Route Events say that riders are advised to enjoy the awe-inspiring natural beauty of the Cape Fynbos, Indigenous Forests and breath-taking views while traversing the route whilst simultaneously conquer the unique technical challenges of the 2015 GR 300.
“Although 2014’s event was rated the best GR 300 to date and saw professional riders, such as Nico Pitzenmiaer and Renay Goustra in the start line, there was also a massive contingent of non-professionals such as Farmer Glen of Sani to Sea Fame – already re-entered for 2015, again teamed up with Waleed Baker and team Pitstop – who thoroughly enjoyed themselves and rated it as one of the best mountain bike stage races within South Africa,” explained Mosterd.
He added that he was encouraged to see the increase in international competitors. “Many of the foreigners were blown away by the natural beauty we are surrounded by and had it not been for the race, they may never have had the opportunity to experience the magic of the Garden Route during their visit to South Africa. There are also many more South African professional riders on the start line in 2015 because the new event date, moved on by one week, will no longer clash with other SA events on the MTB calendar.”
According to Greg Vogt, Knysna Tourism CEO the fact that this race has grown from strength to strength highlights three critical success factors: Garden Route Events is presenting an event that is meeting the needs of competitive athletes brave enough to take on what our natural surroundings have to offer. Our terrain is providing the raw material for Garden Route Events to leverage off and our natural beauty and towns’ hospitality is providing the rest. This all provides the perfect partnership to keep on growing elements of the event to improve the visitors’ experience.”
Johan van Schalkwayk, Knysna Tourism Marketing Manager, expressed his excitement for the event: “We at the Knysna Tourism office, together with Eden District Tourism Office are excited to welcome both national and international cyclist to enjoy, not only this first class event but also the natural beauty which Knysna has become synonymous with.” He further added that he is pleased with the way that Garden Route Events continue to positively promote and market Knysna through their top-notch annual cycle races.
In closing Mosterd said: “We can’t wait to welcome all riders and supporters of the GR 300 in 2015.”