The second leg of the GR300 got off to a much brighter start, with sunny skies above and the only clouds to be seen were sitting above the distant mountains. The race started from the Quinta da Montanha venue on the Rheenedal Rd and took riders across a range of diverse topographies. Riders had to tackle some serious climbing in the Outeniqua Mountains while other parts took riders along roads flanked by pastoral farmlands and forest gravel roads and of course the beautiful and technical single track through indigenous forest. The rainy conditions from yesterday meant that there were still seriously muddy conditions to contend with. Another aspect which makes this race so dynamic is the portage section, which required competitors to lug their bikes across the Homtini River.
The last stretch of the route takes cyclists down the gentle Phantom Pass and over the Knysna Estuary’s red bridge, along the railway tracks and through the bustling Knysna Waterfront and on to the finish line.
Kevin Evans and Max Knox of the Biogen-Volcan team proved once again the strongest pair, even after Kevin sliced his tyre and had to really push the limits to chase the lead from the Contego Pro Team which they managed to do in the last 20 kilometres. Kevin Evans and Max Knox of the Biogen-Volcan team retain the overall lead.
The first solo male to make it over the line was pro biker for Rocky Mountain Timo Cooper, beating yesterday’s solo winner Stephan Sahm (Bulls) to the finish. The first ladies team was yesterday’s Sasol Team winners Yolande De Villiers and Bianca Haw, with Jeanie Dreyer and Theresa Ralph of Team RBS/Hi-Tec/USN coming in second.
All the riders interviewed gave positive reviews about today’s leg, saying that it is an efficiently organised and well-balanced trail. Hats off to the organisers for yet another memorable ride in Mountain biking heaven!
Provisional Race Results: http://bit.ly/1DYyeZ7