What makes a stage race special?

All three days we had this funky little vehicle as the lead out vehicle. Photo Credit: Stephan Du Toit

The lead out vehicle.
Photo Credit: Stephan Du Toit

So I got the opportunity to take part in the Ride2Nowhere this year and I must say the only thing I knew about the event is that it was held in the town of McGregor nearby Robertson, and that was it. And as I had done quite a large number of stage races I knew the deal and how these things normally work, you have a registration process, race briefing and off you go, but what sets certain stage races apart from other?

There are so many to choose from these days and all of them promise the best routes and scenery etc etc. But what really makes a stage race an unforgettable experience? In my opinion it’s the vibe of the race, and that is what Ride2Nowhere has abundance of, an incredible vibe. So what creates this vibe? It is not easy to put your finger on one exactly it is that creates the vibe, but it’s more a case of all the factors that contribute to its vibe.

Let’s start with the town of McGregor. The town embraces the event, and that’s clear to see with the community involvement and support at the race village. Then there is the passion of the event organisers (and some will say interesting presentation of the race briefing in the evenings J ), I think this passion and enthusiasm rubs off on to riders as there is such a camaraderie between riders, and the atmosphere at the race village, you could walk into race village any time of the day after a stage and there will be a hype of activity and riders discussing war stories over a cold one!!

The size of the event is another factor, with limited accommodation available in McGregor the event is capped at a smaller than usual number for stage races, and this definitely adds to the vibe of this wonderful event. You get to know the faces around you quicker, and encage more on a one to one basis with your fellow riders!

We spoke to Solo lady winner Marleen Lourens about her Ride2Nowhere experience, and please take into consideration that she has raced all over the country in some of the top stage races this country has to offer and has taken part in all previous R2N events and also won it each year. This is what she had to say:

Marleen Lourens in action during the Ride2Nowhere 2014

Marleen Lourens in action during the Ride2Nowhere 2014. Photo Credit: Johann Theron

“ I am an adrenaline junkie.  Name the event/challenge and I am there!  As mother of three active (read: demanding! J) kids, I must really manage my time effectively.  Unfortunately we all need to juggle work, family and pleasure.  This means choosing the best possible ways to spend your weekends away.  And in the Western Cape we are spoilt for choices and events.  With R2N you have the option of making it a family weekend or go and enjoy the event for the great routes, food and organisation with friends.  The R2N Team spoils you with the things that matter to an MTBer: great tracks, food and wine!  McGregor town gets taken over by (and welcomes the families/riders) the R2N for 3 days…and they AND us just love it.  Although it has a very relaxed atmosphere you can also race it, but make sure you give way at the finish line for the black scooters of children and friendly dogs…they sort of have right-of-way for the weekend!  I’ve already secured my entry for 2015…just to make sure (McGregor can host only SO much people and I don’t want to miss out) “

I can ramble on and on, on what makes this event a truly special event, but I’m afraid my words won’t do the Ride2Nowhere much justice, so the only real way for you to understand what I am on about is to enter this event for 2015 (and I won’t delay it too long, as this is going to become a very very popular event on the race calendar)

Oh and PS..the route is pretty damn spectacular too!!!

Written by Denver Knoetzen from Team Tri-Plex Sport.