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Franschhoek 500

27th December 2024. 06:00. Franschhoek, Western Cape, South Africa


Embark on a 500-kilometer odyssey with a challenging 5,800 meters of elevation, where 70% of the route is dedicated to the famed smooth gravel that defines the Western Cape. This isn't just any gravel; it's world-class, underlanding smoothness. The ride will traverse iconic locations including Bot River, Hermanus, Stanford, Napier, Bredasdorp, possibly descending to the pont but not crossing it, Swellendam, Greyton, and culminate with a ascent up the famed Franschhoek Pass.

While a few select towns offer opportunities for resupply along the way, the scorching summers of the Western Cape and your trusted bivvy become your closest companions. The route itself is cloaked in anticipation, with its unveiling occurring just two weeks prior to the start date, adding an element of mystery to this extraordinary cycling adventure.




In the heart of the Western Cape, where vineyards whisper tales of centuries past, a different kind of adventure unfolds. The Franschhoek 500 Ultra Cycling Bikepacking Gravel Race, unlike the typical wine tour ride, is a daring exploration of the world's most exquisite gravel cycling roads.

The Challenge: This is not a leisurely pedal through vineyard-lined paths. It's a test of grit, stamina, and the sheer thrill of conquering challenging terrain. With only 150 kilometers on smooth tarmac, the majority of the Franschhoek 500 Ultra Cycling Bikepacking Gravel Race spans over the region's finest gravel roads, promising an exhilarating journey for the daring cyclist.

The Terrain: While 500 graces the event's name, it's not a smooth tarmac adventure. The route introduces riders to the rugged embrace of gravel roads, testing their mettle against the very essence of the Western Cape's diverse landscapes. Each turn brings a new challenge, demanding a dance between man and machine.

The Resupply Dilemma: As riders push their limits, they'll discover that resupply points are a rare oasis in this arduous journey. Limited provisions add an element of strategy, forcing participants to calculate their moves wisely. In the midst of the race, the pursuit of sustenance becomes a race within a race.

A Symphony of Busy Season: Amidst the grueling ride, participants will find themselves in the midst of the Western Cape's busy season. The air is electric with the vibrancy of summer, offering a sensory feast of sights and sounds. Cyclists become witnesses to the region's liveliness as they pedal through the dynamic landscape.

Emotional Peaks and Valleys: The Franschhoek 500 is not merely a physical challenge; it's an emotional rollercoaster. The undulating terrain mirrors the highs and lows of the riders' emotions. As they ascend, conquer, and descend, the landscape becomes a mirror to their own journey — a reflection of determination, triumph, and, perhaps, a hint of struggle.

The Culmination: The journey is not just about covering kilometers; it was about embracing the spirit of adventure, immersing in the untamed beauty of the Western Cape, and experiencing the soul-stirring challenge of the Franschhoek 500 Ultra Cycling Bikepacking Gravel Race.