The Garden Route’s most spectacular stage race rolls once again in late September 2018, and, as in the past, will act as something of a precursor to the extremely popular Lion’s Karoo to Coast. This year, event owners and organizers – Zandile Meneses and Leon ‘Dr Evil’ Evans, are set to introduce a few new innovations which promise to up the race experience even further.

Of course, carrying the moniker ‘Dr Evil’ might scare most riders off. The reality is that the man who garnered that name after designing leg-murdering routes for the Absa Cape Epic way back in the day is actually a big softy and the event is aimed at weekend warriors and racing snakes alike. The idea is to create routes that are interesting, scenic and will test those who set out with the intention of racing the event but not be too difficult or long for those wanting to enjoy the ride at lesser pace.

Each stage of the three-day event will be unique with day one being 72km (1350m elevation), Day two around 75km (980m of elevation) and about 50km (850m of elevation) on day three. The routes will cater for average and elite riders alike. The routes will be made up of a combination of singletrack, scenic district roads and forest trails. The event prides itself in the fact that nowhere in the country can you ride indigenous forests as you can here on the Garden Route.

This year sees Registration and Day One are at the Plett Game Reserve. Day Two is at Kurland Hotel and Polo Estate. While Day Three remains at the ever popular Cairnbrogie Dairy Farm with its now-famous network of singletrack. “Apart from the amazing routes, riders are in for two brilliant new venues,” explains Leon Evans. “The Plett Game Reserve (speaks for itself), where supporters will also be able to go on game drives while waiting for the riders to return and Kurland which is the country’s premier venue for equestrian events. It also so happens that the venue will be hosting a major equestrian event at the same time as day two of Dr Evil, enabling supporters to watch while the riders are out on course.”

Entries for the Buco Lions Karoo to Coast Mountain Bike Challenge often sell out fast but entering the the Dr Evil Classic will receive a preferential start in the Karoo to Coast. The final stage of Dr Evil classic is also shorter (about about 50km with 850m of elevation) so there is time for all transfers and the like the Saturday before Karoo to Coast Sunday.

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The event prides itself in the fact that nowhere in the country can you ride indigenous forests as you can here on the Garden Route. The 2018 route maps, profiles and detailed information are available at or email Cyclists who live in the Garden Route are liable for a Locals Discount on Manual entries and can email Zandile for details.