Nearly 4,000 riders competed in the first major sporting event of the 2015 Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival this morning – the MTB events of the Momentum Weekend Argus Knysna Cycle Tour, presented by Rotary.
Marketing Director for the race, Andrew Finn said that conditions for the race were perfect. “The weather in Knysna today is fantastic and we had a wonderful race. There are thousands of spectators at the Festival grounds enjoying a very festive day.”
Riders set off in misty conditions from 08:00 this morning when the gun was fired by Knysna Executive Mayor, Georlene Wolmarans, but the mist soon lifted and by the time the first riders from the 15 km race crossed the finish line, the sun was shining brightly.
First over the line in the main event of the day, the 80 km MTB, was Matthys Beukes, who is believed to have set a new course record in a time of 2.52.12. He was followed by Johannes Rabi (2.52.55) and Gert Heyns (2.56.31).
Robyn de Groot, was first lady home in 3.11.19, with Fienie Barnard in second place (3.23.21) and Janine Rawlinson in third place (3.25.16).
Triple national marathon champion, Robyn, who recently won the RECM Knysna 200 mountain bike race says she was pleased to be back in Knysna.
“This is my first Oyster Festival MTB race and I really enjoyed it. Knysna is a very special place and the weather today is fantastic. I always enjoy riding these trails.”
Beukes admitted to “feeling a bit broken” after the race. “I knew that to go for a course record I would need to start really hard and so the final 10 to 15 km were a little too much, but I managed to hang on and I’m happy. Most of the riders hit the first climb really slowly and I realised if I put in an attack I could get a quick gap. Then I put in a big effort on the big climb out of Kom se Pad and managed to break away.”
Tomorrow the Momentum Weekend Argus Knysna Cycle Tour presented by Rotary road races take place with the first start at 08:00 am.