Gravel Travel – behind the scenes

Olympic pic 1

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, and race photos on and

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!!