Gravel, grit & grind at Ford Cullinan to Tonteldoos Ultra, presented by King Price

22 April 2023, Cullinan

Saturday, 22 April, saw ultra-distance riders heading out of Cullinan on a gravel odyssey spanning sunrise to sunrise. 24 hours, 3 provinces, 264 kilometres and 3200 m elevation – this is rated as SA’s toughest 1-day gravel grinder! And if this was your first Ford C2T Ultra, presented by King Price, now you’re a believer too!

As professional and amateur riders alike rolled out of Cullinan on that fateful morning, everyone involved was optimistic about what the weather would hold. The weather turned out to be kind in most respects. It was hot, no denying that, with an annoying headwind, but all in all, great conditions considering what riders had to endure in the past!

The first 130 km to Water Point 3 was smooth sailing, and riders enjoyed the fast ride. Water Point 3 had riders take a short break, eat a good meal, meet up with supporters and gather their strength for the difficult second half ahead. Here, relay riders handed over the baton to the second rider in the team, who sprinted away on fresh legs to face the difficult part of the journey.  

After water point 3, things got real. The day was heating up properly, and the section between water point 3 and water point 4 proved deadly. At this point, many riders could not contend with the heat and were forced to drop out. (They’ll be back for revenge!) 

But, every now and then, a rider would remember to look up and be rewarded with hauntingly beautiful scenery. They would be reminded that this is why they ride: for views such as these!

And then they hit Korfnek! A 20-km climb 230 km into the race on tired legs… Any remaining questions on why the race is called Cullinan to TontelDOOS 😜? By this time, darkness had fallen for most riders out on the course, and the climb was (thankfully?) completed in darkness. But those who started the gruelling ascent in daylight were rewarded with spectacular views over the Laersdrifspruit Valley! 

Relief, pride and an immense sense of accomplishment were the emotions which flooded riders as they turned into the Dunkeld Country Estate entrance, knowing the finish line was near!

Some made it long before darkness fell, others watched a spectacular sunset before finishing triumphantly, while others rode all through the night and were in time to witness a second sunrise before crossing the finish line! A monumental accomplishment, no matter when you got home!


Elite Men:

🥇 HB Kruger | 09:18:20 

🥈 Kent Main | 09:22:42 

🥉 Alex Pavlov | 09:27:24

Elite Ladies:

🥇 Bianca Cooper | 11:48:00 

🥈 Martie Joubert | 12:03:16 

🥉 Cháni Maré| 12:58:36

Relay Teams Overall:

🥇 Stefano & Natalie | 10:55:53 

🥈 Dave & Hannah | 11:28:06 

🥉 Mags & Peter | 11:58:29

Relay Teams Mixed:

🥇 Stefano & Natalie | 10:55:53 

🥈 Dave & Hannah | 11:28:06 

🥉 Mags & Peter | 11:58:29

Relay Teams Men:

🥇 Petrus Johannes & Dintwe | 13:10:25 

🥈 Lourens & Khotso | 13:48:33 

🥉 Nick & Chris | 14:31:45

Relay Teams Ladies

🥇 Jackoline & Lizle | 12:01:19 

🥈 Nicola & Nicole | 13:29:29

Thank you

As we celebrate the remarkable accomplishment of all the riders who completed this demanding race, we cannot forget to thank the sponsors, supporters, and crew who made this event possible. 

The fleet of Next-Gen Ford Rangers that serviced the water points and looked after riders en route were indispensable! The first event under the Ford banner was a huge success. We look forward to enduring many more tough events with a vehicle that can match the Ford C2T Ultra, presented by King Price on the toughness scale.

To those brave enough to tackle the toughest ultra-gravel race in SA, the journey was filled with intense physical and emotional challenges. Over the course of 24 hours, you were pushed to your limits as you battled the rough roads, dust, heat, a constant headwind and your own exhaustion. Thank you for the support! 

We salute every rider who crossed that finish line. And to those who didn’t – do not leave business unfinished. We’ll see you next year!

Until next year, keep pushing the limits…

The Team at Ford Cullinan to Tonteldoos Ultra, presented by King Price