The Race to Willowmore takes place in March/April each year. It is a 554 km, non-stop, self-navigated mountain bike race starting in Cradock and ending in Willowmore, on the Eastern Cape and Western Cape border. Riders are allowed a maximum of 6 days to complete the ride.
It is a non-stop event, so riders are not required to stop every day/night as in other stage races. Riders are required to be self-sufficient and carry all their own personal belongings with them.
Starting at Die Ou Pastorie in Cradock and finishing at The Willows Historical B and B in Willowmore, the six stages of the route will pass through 5 support stations and 3 emergency stops, where our generous hosts will take good care of you along the way.
Further support along the way is provided by:
- 5 support stations which also serve as compulsory check points. These support stations occur roughly every 100km along the route and provide food and accommodation to all riders during the race. Riders are required to sign in and out of each designated support station. It is however within an individual participant's discretion to decide whether they wish to utilise the accommodation provided at each support station.
- Riders may send a pre-packed 2 litre container of their own to each support station, to be collected during the race. These typically contain the maps for the next section, bike spares, snacks etc which will be needed along the way.
- 3 emergency stops where food and emergency accommodation can be arranged for riders – this is done by the race office.
Please note: no individual seconding is permitted during the event – this means that no friends, family or other supporters may meet you along the route and offer assistance during the ride.
The route follows a section of the Freedom Trail which traverses a wide variety of off-road terrain including dirt roads, farm roads, old historical wagon routes and animal tracks. Apart from the riding, there a few portage sections where riders will have to hike, push and even carry their bikes. It includes the iconic Baviaanskloof Wilderness area.
Since the route is not marked, riders need to navigate by means of maps, compass and narrative directions – the use of GPS devices for navigation during the race is not allowed and will lead to disqualification.
The stage details are as follows:
- Cradock to Gegun - 122km
- Gegun via Koedoeskop to Toekomst - 52km
- Toekomst via Kleinpoort to Bucklands - 120km
- Bucklands via Hadley to Cambria - 90km
- Cambria to Dam se Drif - 82km
- Dam se Drif to Willowmore - 88km
- Total = 554km
The entrance fee for the 2019 Race to Willowmore is R9000-00
Payment Options 2018
- Early-bird entry fee R8500 if paid in full by end September 2018
- Otherwise R9000
- or two installments of R4600 each
The entrance fee covers the following:
- pre-ride dinner in Cradock
- all meals during the ride
- end of ride dinner in Willowmore
- accommodation for 7 nights including Cradock and Willowmore
- official ride garment
- a finisher’s prize