The event, now in its third year, offers two race options to experience the thrills and spills of the Breedekloof Wine Valley.
There is the Gravel & Grape Extreme, a challenging three-day stage race covering approximately 207km in total, and the Gravel & Grape Adventure for the cyclist not quite ready for the step up to three days of racing. The Adventure is a two-day ride that follows the same trails as the Extreme, and although it only covers 65km in total, the routes are still technical and challenging.
Featuring a unique route that pleases and punishes in equal measure, the Gravel & Grape Extreme is an event that takes mountain biking back to its roots. With challenging technical riding, the Extreme is best suited for riders with a sense of adventure and a well-stocked arsenal of rock-hopping, berm-bending, switchback-sizzling talent.
The route has been crafted to reflect the rugged nature of the Breedekloof Wine Valley, but also to show its gentler side. Stunning views in a picturesque location and a cloverleaf format creates three days of pure mountain biking that will leave you gasping for more. The days are not long, but the terrain will put riders and their bikes to the test.
“The Gravel & Grape delivers raw, rough, mountain biking,” says last year’s winner, Chris Wolhuter. “A highlight was riding through some parts of the valley that were completely isolated. It was very beautiful, very serene.”
Wolhuter’s partner from the three day ride, Dylan Rebello, echoes his sentiments. “It’s fantastic riding,” he says. “There are really good trails and the whole ride was just an enjoyable experience overall.”
While the Extreme is for teams only, the Adventure allows for solo riders. Like the Extreme, the Adventure is also a clover leaf format. Entries are for solo riders or teams of two in two different categories: junior and open. The junior category is for both team members between the ages of 16 and 18 years, while the open category can be a son/daughter, husband/wife, daughter/father team or any two adults.
The routes will follow the same trail as the Gravel & Grape Extreme, so while the days and distances are shorter, participants will still be riding on the same special terrain as the main event which will afford them the opportunity to enjoy a good variety of singletrack, climbs and jeep track.
The third annual Gravel & Grape MTB event takes place 5-7 May 2017. For more information please visit: http://gravelandgrape.com/