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Purpose-built trails for Garden Route 300

Riders can look forward to some interesting, fast-paced descents and several short, sharp climbs when they tackle stage two of the Garden Route 300 mountain bike race next month.

Race director Patric Mosterd said participants would be "in for a treat" on the shortest stage of the 200km, three-day event that gets under way at the Knysna Yacht Club on April 28.

With the start on the Dormehl dairy farm some 40km outside Knysna on the Sedgefield road, he said much of the 50km course would be on the manicured trails of the trail park.

However, he warned that the day's riding could "prove taxing to many of the riders".

"The trail park consists of purpose-built tracks which have been constructed to international standards," he said.

"This means the trails are always kept in good condition, making them fast. There are many berms that increase the riding experience as they allow participants to keep the speed up."

Mosterd said the idea was to provide fast descents into the valley, followed by a climb out.

"Fast single-track takes you down into the valley with a lot of zig-zagging to generate a thrill for the riders."

However, Mosterd added that there were enough short, sharp climbs to keep the attention of everyone.

"It's not mountainous, but the route is demanding because it is busy and there is never a dull moment."

He said the degree of difficulty was linked to the speed at which you rode and that the route provided a chance for everyone to comfortably complete the stage.

"Technically anybody can ride the trails. It's not dangerous because you can do it slowly and safely at no risk.

"The course is designed for speed, so there is greater risk attached for the guys who are a bit quicker.

"But the trails often attract whole families so they are really for everyone."

Mosterd said after leaving the start at Dormehl Farm, there was an open stretch of dirt road which would assist in spreading the field to a degree.

"This is quite important because there is a lot of single-track on the stage. This is followed by an early climb which will open up the field even further."

Besides the feature race, the organisers also offer a 170km Lite version. On stage two, however, the main race and Lite will cover the same distance.

With the start at the trail park's offices, Mosterd said there would be sufficient facilities to cater for the riders' needs.

"It's about a 25-minute drive from Knysna and there is a very nice coffee shop with tables and chairs under some trees. It is very quaint."

He said ablution and shower facilities would be available after the stage and the venue would host the lunch and prize-giving.

Go to www.gardenrouteevents.co.za for more info or to enter.



Riders will face some interesting descents on the Garden Route Trail Park's single-track trails on day two of the Garden Route 300 mountain bike race. Photo: Julie Ann Photography

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