Ready for something epic? 170 kilometres, 3000 metres of ascent, 79 kilometres of gravel in 3 Sectors. That is what awaits the brave daring to do the Swartberg 100. The race is known as a ‘Gran Fondo’. The term “Gran Fondo” loosely translated in Italian means “Big Ride”. These events always involve long distances with tough climbs on difficult terrain that includes cobblestones or gravel sectors.
The Swartberg100 Gran Fondo starts and ends in Prince Albert, arguably one of the most attractive Karoo towns in South Africa, it covers 170 km of which there are 3 gravel sectors covering 79 km. The final climb is over the gravel Swartberg Pass, a relentless climb of 28 km, the last 8 km being on gravel with gradients of 13% in places.
The race, in true South African tradition, will be one of the toughest Gran Fondo’s in the world. They have created a course that goes back to the days of old when mountain passes were all gravel and brave cyclists climbed them on single speed bikes weighing in at 16 kg. A course that allows us to pit our modern training knowledge and technology against an old foe, a road surface that isn’t always friendly.
Watch their video here.