Kirsten Landman and Reinette Geldenhuis will target the 2023 Dr Evil Classic, followed by the Karoo to Coast, as their first multi day stage race experience together, in preparation for next years Absa Cape Epic.
The Dr Evil Classic will take place from 21 to 23 September, and will be the first time that Kirsten and Reinette have an opportunity to work together as a team on their LIV mountain bikes.
Now in its eleventh year, the event boasts more singletrack than ever, as Plettenberg Bay continues to evolve as a mountain biking mecca. It will however not lose its ethos as a fun race/ride where every participant can choose to push as hard, or as little, as they like. The stages are relatively short, but are packed with spectacular riding, and will give the duo an opportunity to test their relationship under racing conditions. The three-day race will also provide an opportunity for Kirsten and Reinette to experience some of the best mountain biking on offer around Plettenberg Bay.
From day three of the Dr Evil Classic, the girls head straight onto Heritage Day, and the Lions Karoo to Coast on Sunday 24 September. It remains one of the most iconic single day events in the country, providing 4 500 riders with a goal to keep them on their bikes through the cold winter months. For many, the Lions Karoo to Coast is their foray into competitive racing. Its route covers 100 kilometres, from Uniondale to Knysna, taking on the scenic Prince Alfred Pass and the beautiful indigenous forest roads through Kom se Pad. In total, the course includes 1 560 metres of climbing, a significant test at this early stage of Kirsten’s MTB career.
A professional motorcycle enduro rider, Kirsten became a household name in South Africa as a result of her exploits in the famed Dakar Rally. She became the first African woman to complete the Dakar Rally in 2020, and in 2023, only the third woman to complete the Dakar’s unassisted Malle Moto class, taking second place in the event.
Her interest in MTB was piqued after she was invited to ride a KTM motorcycle at the Absa Cape Epic in 2023 as a lead motorcycle rider, ahead of the UCI Men’s leaders.
Reinette on the other hand, is a seasoned mountain biker, with an impressive six ABSA Cape Epics to her name. Apart from looking forward to making a return to the Garden Route to take part in the Dr Evil Classic and Karoo to coast, she is excited about the coaching opportunity it presents for her to introduce Kirsten into the sharp end of MTB stage racing.