By switching the direction of the popular red route in the Harkerville forest outside Knysna, Garden Route 300 race director Patric Mosterd feels they have touched on a recipe for success for next month’s event.
The organisers have used this option for the past two years and Mosterd said they would stick with that formula when the three-day race is staged from April 28.
He said the red route would therefore again form part of the feature event’s 75km opening stage, after which riders would tackle 50km and 75km stages on days two and three.
“Doing this section in reverse puts a different spin on the opening day,” said Mosterd. “It’s been a good move and something we will persist with.”
Mosterd said the route for the first stage was in line with their objectives of providing the riders with a classic mountain biking experience.
“The route does undulate quite a lot because you can’t get away from the fact that the area surrounding Knysna is very mountainous,” he said.
“Many of the routes are natural single-track and pretty soft underfoot, flowing under a tree canopy and showing off Knysna’s spectacular indigenous forests.”
To ensure everyone is catered for, the organisers introduced a Lite version in 2014 which will be over 170km this year, starting at the same time as the feature race.
“The only difference will be that it cuts out some of the more technical sections and one or two of the tougher climbs,” said Mosterd.
The GR300 includes men’s and women’s sections in the open, solo, mixed and masters’ categories, while the Lite offers men’s and women’s solo sections.
The first stage will start and finish at the Knysna Yacht Club, which will also be the venue for the race registration.
Entries close during the week leading up to the event, but there is an April 10 cut-off for those wanting to qualify for the Capestorm garment.