PLETTENBERG BAY NEWS - Yet another Plettenberg Bay sporting event, the highly anticipated Dr Evil Classic mountain bike race, has been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The three-stage race was scheduled to take place in September, but has been postponed to the same month next year.
Now in its ninth year, the event is traditionally held in September and was voted one of the top five short-distance stage races in the country by the South African cycling community on the Tread/Garmin survey in January 2020. It has sold out for the past six years with about 350 riders participating in each event.
"It is after a great deal of thought and with a heavy hart that we have had to make this decision," said the event owners, Leon Evans and Zandile Meneses. "It has become apparent in our ongoing discussions with all role players that there is too much uncertainty … The event has a great reputation for being generous in terms of value for money and rider experience and we cannot compromise on the quality or safety around the 2020 edition.
The current reality is that the risk to go ahead in 2020 outweighs the option to postpone the event to 2021."
Many riders have already entered, but can opt to transfer their entries to 2021 at no additional charge, transfer their entries to someone else or receive a cash refund of 50% of the entry fee.
While the postponement has come as a blow for riders and organisers, the title partner, the CCPP Group, has agreed to honour their partnership with the event in 2021.
CCPP Group chief executive Clint Cawood said this is an opportunity to take the event "up a level" in 2021. "The event is looking at ways to improve the rider experience and they are considering inclusive packages and new activations for the race villages and routes to be included in the 2021 edition of the Dr Evil Classic," he said.
"Our local authorities have informed us that they expect the effects of the virus to remain significant in September, and they therefore – at this point – cannot support the event taking place.
"The uncertainty also impacts our visitors who may not be allowed to travel, and sponsor partners who would not be able to host staff and guests if the health risk is high or if leisure travel is still banned," he said.
"There is unfortunately no other option but to postpone the event to 2021."
'We bring you the latest Plettenberg Bay, Garden Route news'