More than 500 mountain bikers took part in the 8th edition of Gravel Travel – one of Wellington’s most famous (or infamous) races. With a very wet and muddy track record, and a difficult route history to boot, Pieter van Wyk (Gravel Travel owner and route director) decided to make a few tweaks to the routes in 2016. This proved to be a winning decision – many participants arrived at the finish with huge smiles on their faces! It might also be the flowing new single track which took riders to the finish!
The race was moved to Doolhof Wine Estate at the last minute, and this also added to the excitement build-up before 15 May 2016. Many riders expected the routes to include lots of the Welvanpas/Bains Black and White Routes, but some lesser known parts were included to afford riders the chance to enjoy trails and land not regularly traversed.
The start finish area looked like a green and red festival of colours, sporting the branding of the main sponsors Rhodes and Olympic. The funky (old and new) music of the MC added to the fun. A number of professional and semi-professional riders participated, with HOT competition especially in the men’s categories. Podiums on the day were:
50km Men 50km Ladies
Stephan Senekal Hanlie Booyens
Lourens Luus Michelle Lombardi
Chris Wolhuter Nadia Visser
25km Men 25km Ladies
WG van der Walt Danielle Barnard
Riaan van der Westhuizen Ana Sampson
Joshua Burger Wendy Brand
Full results on https://www.entryninja.com/results/event/4521, and race photos on https://www.facebook.com/tc.botha1/media_set?set=a.10154482842504415.672604414&type=3 and https://www.facebook.com/livinglightimages/photos/?tab=album&album_id=586868364827333.
We would like to thank our sponsors, Rhodes and Olympic, for their loyal and wonderful support. There were also many other smaller (or not so small!) sponsors and supporters, which included Enduren, Doolhof Wine Estate, Grand Dedale Guest House, Bartholomeus Klip Farm House, Cummings Guest House, Lady Loch Guest House, The Local Grill at Val du Charron, The Bistro at Stone Kitchen (Dunstone) and Masgcor. The involvement of local (Wellington and surrounding area) accommodation establishments and restaurants gives us the opportunity to showcase what Wellington has to offer. Looking forward to 2017!!