The Sedgefield500 is a self-supported bikepacking race in the heart of South Africa’s gravel riding heaven. With a generous 58-hour cut-off, riders can either opt to sleep along the way or give it one solid go. Starting and finishing in the coastal town of Sedgefield in the Western Cape, the route follows some of the best roads the Garden Route and Klein Karoo have to offer. The majority of the route is on gravel roads with two big off-road mountain passes to navigate. Riders climb a total of 7,000 metres throughout the ride.
This year, the event had a female winner, Rebecca van Huyssteen, who stormed through the course and finished nearly two hours ahead of her closest competitor. The weather was also incredibly hot this year, with temperatures hitting 47°C (117°F) degrees on some sections of the route in the Karoo. Her final time was just over 35 hours, which included a mere 20 minutes of sleep. The finish time this year was 9 hours slower than last year because of the extreme heat and strong winds.
A group of 37 riders registered for the 2022 event, 18 showed up for the start, and 10 finished. Three of the 10 finishers were women, and no women had to pay any registration fees—an offer the organizers are using to remove barriers to women getting into endurance racing in South Africa.
Dates are already set for the next event, which will take place on the weekend October 7-9, 2022. Head over to OutlawAdventure.co.za to learn more.
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