Dr Evil Classic 2017 – the new style of MTB stage race


There’s a reason Plettenberg Bay is called the Riviera of South Africa. It’s where the well-heeled choose to head to when there’s break in their busy schedules or where they choose to relax during the annual summer holiday. ‘Plett’ has some of the country’s finest beaches, indigenous forests and a picturesque coastline. It has also developed a growing food and wine culture for the discerning. Oh and more recently, it’s become a great place to ride a mountain bike.

Yes, just a short hop away is Knysna, a town that’s well known for its historic role in the early days of mountain biking. But in terms of modern mountain bike trail progression, Plett is a shining example of what’s possible when you want to develop trails that are fun to ride and which take in the full spectrum of terrain and points of interest in the area.

Introducing the new-style of mountain bike stage race – an event that’s designed to complement and fully explore its location and deliver participants an unforgettable experience both on and off the bike.

The BUCO Dr Evil Classic 2017, which takes place on the long weekend 21–23 September 2017, is a race, of course, but it’s not all about finishing positions. It’s also about times. Fast times and good times. The former for the speedy and competitive types and the latter for, well, pretty much everyone.

There are three different start/finish venues – one for each stage. Yes, it’s logistically more challenging for the organisers, but it’s allowed the route designer, the legendary Dr Evil (Leon Evans), to avoid repetition of trail use and keep riders stimulated for the entire duration of the event. It’s another Dr Evil Classic innovation aimed at eliminating the familiar ‘Groundhog Day’ effect at the start and finish of most three-day stage races.

“It’s widely known that South Africa is the mountain bike stage race capital of the world. But with this high number of stage races (there are at least 70 a year), especially the three-day duration events, there’s a risk of stagnation. With the Dr Evil Classic, we have purposefully changed our format to ensure our participants feel, hear, see, taste or smell something new every day,” said Zandile Meneses, Event Director.

“Because the 2017 Dr Evil Classic finishes the day before the popular Karoo to Coast 2017, which is on Sunday 24 September 2017; and because Monday 25 September is a public holiday, we are expecting a growth in entrant numbers this year. It’s an exciting time for our event and for the Plett area, which really is becoming a new mountain biking hot spot,” added Meneses.

What are the distances? Day 1 – 73km, Day 2 – 40km, Day 3 – 50km. For more insight into stages, the event or to enter, head to www.drevilclassic.co.za