Gravel racers are converging on Wellington from all over South Africa on 18 September to line up in in the Boland’s long awaited signature gravel bike race. A total of 1000 brave souls will embark on the challenge over a distance of 150km and 2000m vertical ascent, traversing some of the most beautiful hybrid riding terrain in the Boland, including Bainskloof Pass and Bothmaskloof Pass.
Paid Partnership with De Villiers Cycling
The Boland Gravel Monster is limited to 1000 riders and starts and finishes at Welbedacht Estate Schalk Burger and Sons just outside Wellington. It offers a finely crafted hybrid route, with 85km gravel and 65km tar, which has been designed and will be managed by seasoned and well-loved local route director Pieter van Wyk.
Van Wyk filled the position of route director at the Absa Cape Epic for a number of years and currently manages affairs on the Shesha Fuels Val de Vie MTB Expedition, Cederberg 100 Miler as well as the Imbuko Big 5. He has an intricate knowledge of the gravel network in the Boland and has crafted a perfectly balanced mix of provincial and privately owned gravel roads, easy-riding jeep track and quiet tarred roads.
Entries for the Boland’s annual gravel bike pilgrimage are limited to 1000 riders and are filling up swiftly at www.cycleevents.co.za
Seasoned veteran Chris van Rooyen, who heads up the RAFBuddy squad, is part of a group of more than 20 riders who are travelling from Pretoria to take part in the Gravel Monster.
“The news of the event was heaven-sent! I’ve always felt the Boland was the perfect area to host a proper gravel bike event, so the way in which the event has resonated is no surprise,” said Van Rooyen.
“I believe it will become South Africa’s signature gravel bike race and also has the potential to position itself internationally. Gravel-biking is a fast growing sport and there is no reason South Africa can’t host the World Championships in the not too distance future.
“The beauty of gravel bike racing is that is also caters for a host of mountain-bikers who are not into trail riding. These are mostly cyclists who are intimidated by the trails, but enjoy being out on their mountain-bike and challenging themselves.”
Van Rooyen’s squad represents most of the strongest veteran riders in Pretoria. They are a good mix of roadies and mountain-bikers and they’re all into gravel-bike racing.
“Our riders are really looking forward to the event. It’s always so delightful to spend time in the Boland area. It really is so different from riding our bikes in Gauteng,” he said.
For more info on the Gravel Monster, go to the entry page here.