The butterflies are starting to flutter in the bellies of the 2016 GR300 and GRLite
entrants as race week has dawned. The riding gets underway on Friday the 26th of
February from Thesen Island in Knysna and some of the country’s top mountain
bikers will be descending on what’s becoming known as “Trail Town South Africa”.
The women’s category in the 2016 GR300 looks to be a particularly tightly contested
one with Garmin’s Yolandi du Toit lining up alongside British mountain biking ace
Catherine Williamson and South African marathon champion Robyn de Groot.
Williamson is building up her form for a tilt at the Cape Epic title with Ester Süss in
March and de Groot is in the form of her career coming off victories over Ariane
Kleinhans at the National MTB Series race in Sabie and the Attakwas Extreme. Du
Toit meanwhile is coming off a third place, with Cape Epic partner Theresa Ralph, at
the Tankwa Trek.
In the men’s category the ever competitive Billy Stelling will be racing the likes of
Christopher Wolhuter, Craig Boyes and Mike Posthumus to stay on the wheels of
Renay Groustra and Dylan Rebello. Though Groustra is returning from an illness
enforced layoff he’s always raced well in the GR300 and RECM KNYSNA 200 and
will be keen to make use of the trails which suit his riding to regain form and
confidence. While Rebello will look to build on the remarkable stage race successes,
especially for such a young professional, he enjoyed in 2015 in his first stage race of
Friday’s Stage 1 will challenge the GR300 riders to an 80km course with 1 650m of
climbing, while the GRLite entrants will take on a 64km route with 1 250m of
climbing. Saturday’s Stage 2 will start and finish from the Garden Route Trail Park
and will surely be the highlight of the 2016 event. The 62km GR300 route includes 1
550m of altitude gain, and the GRLite day’s stage features a 46km route with 1 100m
of altitude gain. Sunday’s third and final stage includes a climb up the famous
Phantom Pass and a descent along the Phantom Pass singletracks, for the longer
GR300 route rides it’s a 78km day with 1 450m of climbing, whereas the GRLite
competitors will have a 65km with 1 050m of climbing final day.
If you’d like to follow the action live from the Garden Route you can do so by
following @gardenroute300 on Twitter for live updates, time gaps, photos from the
route and videos. Alternatively read the daily reports right here on www.ndorfin.co.za, or like Garden Route Events on Facebook or search for #GR300 on Instagram.
2016 GR300 & GRLite
Dates: 26 – 28 February 2016
Venue: Quay 4, Thesen Island, Knysna
Registration: 25 February, 16:00 to 21:00 at Quay Four
Race Start: 07:00 Friday 26 February
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