Saturday 9 September 2023
The Ceder original; a bike-bending, resolve-testing stretch of gritty gravel. The spellbinding adventure through other-worldly rock formations and fynbos floral kingdoms covers mountain passes, two towns, and the sandbanks of Clanwilliam Dam through mostly gravel roads.
Elevation Gain: 3700m
Aid Stations: 4
Men's Current CR: Dan Loubser 08:30:52 (2022)
Women's Current CR: Rebecca Van Huyssteen 10:30:42 (2022)
The 4am start promises a cold beginning with a brutal first 35km featuring the devastating Grootrivierhoogte climb, possibly better in the dark, and the technical, fast descent that follows. Reprieve is short-lived with the slow burner Blinkberg Pass climb following immediately after.
The gravel from there delivers notoriously jarring corrugation before riders receive the relief of tar as they find their way to the town of Op-die-Berg and the R303.
As the sun starts to creep over the mountains, the lead pack will be heading towards the third pass, just over 100km in, and the pack will be around Koue Bokkeveld. It’s a moment worthwhile holding onto when the going gets tough later in the day.
The first half of Middelberg Pass descent demands energy, with technical, steep, and sharp corners delivering threatening blows to test the integrity of both riders and their bike tyres. The reward is sweet though, with a smooth tarred road heading into Citrusdal. Rolling out of the town, the route tracks the Olifants River and winds towards Clanwilliam Dam, marking the turn-around point. Reserve some humour in the tank for the 17km of Jamaka’s rolling hills of death and Uitkyk Pass before the final stretch. Thoughts and prayers be with riders if there’s a headwind.
Conquering Uitkyk Pass offers emotional scenes made only better by the relief that home is ‘just’ 35km away.
Ceder245 Aid Stations
🙂 130km, Dropbox Zone and Aid Station *📍
🙂 172.5km, Waterpoint
🙂 197km, Jamaka Kiosk🥤(*Unofficial waterpoint/Aid Station)
🙂 201km, Algeria Waterpoint
*📍At Pomario School, the Dropbox Zone and Aid Station, riders will receive their dropboxes for the additional supplies they packed before the race. This is a supported Aid Station with bathrooms available.
🌼 Grootrivierhoogte, 5.3km, 7.3% gradient average (*not an official pass, but counted as such)
🌼 Blinkberg Pass, 10.9km, 4.1% gradient average
🌼 Middelberg Pass, 3.7km, 6.9% gradient average
🌼 Uitkyk Pass, 5km 7.9%, gradient average