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Franschhoek 500

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

In the Western Cape of South Africa, where whispers of tales of centuries past are spoken, a different adventure unfolds. Welcome to the Gravalist Franschhoek 500 bikepacking event. This isn’t your typical wine tour but a daring exploration of beautiful gravel roads.

The challenge is a test of grit, determination, endurance, and skill. You must conquer testing terrain and dig deep to get the best of your ability. With only 150 km on the tarmac, the route is dusty, and the road is not always smooth, but nothing good comes easy.

It’s not just a test of just how well you can ride a bike. It will be a logistical challenge to ensure correct resupplying, know your route, and conserve your energy for the climbs that will rattle your legs. You will need to calculate your moves wisely.

The race takes place during the busy season in the Western Cape. The ride may be tough, but you get to enjoy the region's electric air and high energy. You get to embrace the sights and sounds of a dynamic landscape in peak season.

The distance is 500 km, and we only allow 13 participants to enter. The field is small, and nobody's adventure is going to be the same. You might be there to enjoy your surroundings or might want to push your body to the limit. The event is yours to enjoy. You all will be self-sufficient, and the challenge is you vs you.


Welcome to the Franschhoek 500 Ultra Cycling Bikepacking Gravel Cycle Event! This four-day cycling adventure is set to take place from the 29th of December, and it promises to be an experience of a lifetime.The route will take you through some of the most picturesque and awe-inspiring landscapes that the Western Cape has to offer. Starting in Franschhoek, you will head down the Elgin Apple Valley, passing through scenic vineyards and orchards before making your way to Stanford. From there, the route will take you on a long and winding journey around the valley, passing through small towns and villages, and showcasing the natural beauty of the area.The final stretch of the route takes you over the famous Franschhoek Pass, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. This challenging climb will test your stamina and endurance, but the sense of accomplishment you will feel at the top will make it all worth it.

Throughout the event, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the camaraderie of your fellow cyclists, as well as the chance to experience the hospitality and charm of the towns and villages you pass through.

Whether you are an experienced cyclist looking for a new challenge or a newcomer to the sport, the Franschhoek 500 Ultra Cycling Bikepacking Gravel Cycle Event is the perfect opportunity to push yourself to new heights and create lasting memories. Don't miss out on this incredible adventure - sign up today and get ready to experience the ride of your life!

Join the Franschhoek 500 waiting list

Route Highlight

Franschhoek, Summer Time and Wine

Franschhoek is a beautiful town located in the Western Cape province of South Africa. Its name translates to "French corner" in Afrikaans, which is a nod to its rich history and cultural heritage.The town was originally settled by French Huguenot refugees who fled religious persecution in France in the late 17th century. They brought with them their winemaking expertise and helped to establish the Cape's wine industry, which is still thriving to this day.In addition to its strong ties to France, Franschhoek also has a rich cycling history. The town is home to one of the oldest and most prestigious cycling events in the country, the Cape Town Cycle Tour. The tour, which was first held in 1978, attracts thousands of participants from around the world every year and is known for its challenging terrain and stunning scenery.The shape of the valley surrounding Franschhoek is also unique and has played a significant role in the town's history. The valley is long and narrow, with steep mountains rising up on either side. This geography made it an ideal hiding place for the Huguenots, who were seeking refuge from persecution. They were able to farm the land and establish their community in relative isolation, which allowed them to maintain their French language, culture, and traditions.Today, the town is a popular tourist destination and is known for its beautiful vineyards, excellent restaurants, and charming boutique shops. Visitors can explore the town's rich history and cultural heritage, enjoy outdoor activities like cycling and hiking, and indulge in the area's world-renowned food and wine.Overall, Franschhoek's fascinating history, connection to France, and unique geography make it a truly special and captivating destination that should not be missed.

Descent to the ocean, only to return. The long way around

Embarking from the picturesque Van der Stel pass, journeying across to charming Hermanus, then descending to the quaint town of Malgas. Finally, circling back around to the historic Swellendam.










Greyton return

Arrive with only 80kms to go the reward is some majestic gravel and enough climbing to ensure you empty the tank over the 500kms. 

Rider Stories

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I’m capable of sleeping under a tree in the bushes ;)
But really that I’m capable of super crazy things!
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Questioned whether I want to carry on doing this a lot!