Ride Report: The Dirty South Gravel Race

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Crossing the Breede, with the Malgas pont (Photo: DirtySouth)
Crossing the Breede, with the Malgas pont (Photo: DirtySouth)

I’m not sure if it was the organisers’ prescience or sheer good luck, but I don’t think I’ve ever done an event that’s quite as on-brand as the Dirty South Gravel Race. 

It took place in the Southern Cape – easy enough to be brand-aligned there. But I’m not sure even organisers Archie and Jeremy were anticipating just how filthy the Dirty South was going to be.

And that’s the gravel ride vibe, right? Brands don’t market their gravel bikes with images of dappled country lanes, perfectly graded lattes, and shiny, smiling cycliste. 

No. It’s all about gritty folk wearing monochromatic lycra and grim expressions, riding bikes that can take on anything from changing surface conditions to biblical weather. This is why Dirty South was pretty much the perfect gravel race.

The basic structure was a point-to-point format from Stillbaai through to Stanford, broken up into three stages: Stillbaai to Witsands (86km); Witsands to Arniston (87km) and finally Arniston to Stanford (83km).

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