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The Race To Rhodes (RTR) is an unforgettable adventure by bike from Pietermaritzburg to Rhodes (EC). 

RTR is a physically and mentally demanding undertaking – to complete this challenge, riders need to be adequately trained, equipped and prepared. Apart from the fitness, riders also need to be proficient at hiking with bike, navigation and bike maintenance.

Since the route is not marked, riders need to navigate by means of maps, compass and narrative directions.




  • RTR start days on 13 - 22 June 2024

  • See Draft Start Batches HERE


  • Non-stop event, riders are not required to stop every day/night as in other stage races

  • There are 5 Support stations where riders must check-in. Food and basic accommodation is provided at support stations. Bedding and towels provided

  • Riders can pre-pack 5 x 2litre ice-cream tubs with supplies such as maps, trail food, personal medications, spares etc. These are distributed to the 5 Support stations

  • In addition to the 5 support stations, there are also 4 interim stops where food and accommodation is provided

  • Solo event and all riders are required to be self-sufficient and carry all their own personal belongings with them

  • No individual seconding is permitted during the event – this means that no friends, family or other supporters may meet you along the route and offer assistance during the ride

  • Cut-off: Riders are allowed a maximum of 7 days to complete the ride

  • Rider vehicles can be transferred from PMB to Rhodes at additional cost (2024 = R2200 plus VAT)



  • Early-bird Entry: R12,500 incl. VAT     (PAID IN FULL BY 31 July 2023)

  • Normal Entry:   R14,000 incl. VAT     (Deadline: 31 January 2024 | Late entry 12 May 2024 - no race garment)

  • Enter RTR HERE


  • All meals and accommodation at support stations and interim stops whilst in competition (max 7 Days)

  • Pre-race dinner and accommodation at the pre-race briefing in Pietermaritzburg

  • Dinner and accommodation at Rhodes on the day/night you finish

  • Access to the downloadable set of 1:50 000 topographical maps and narrative descriptions of the race route (Pre-printed Maps cost R600 incl. VAT and delivery)

  • Transport of one small bag per rider (clothes etc) to be collected at the finish (bike bags also transported by request)

  • Shipping of 2 litre race support boxes from Race Office (Cape Town) to support stations along the route (max 5 tubs per rider)

  • Official race garment

  • Ornamental Beaded Whip (to all official finishers) - please note it is smaller than working whip. 


  • Deadline for all entry fee payments is as per entry deadline above

  • Start batch place is only booked once entry at least 20% paid

  • You may pay in instalments of your choosing, please use same invoice number on all instalments

  • Withdrawals before 31 January 2024 will receive 95% refund of total entry fee

  • Withdrawals before 12 May 2024 will receive 90% refund of total entry fee

  • Withdrawals before the first batch start date will receive 70% refund of total entry fee

  • Withdrawals after the first batch start date are non-refundable

  • Map payments are non-refundable

  • If event does not take place due to Force Majeure, pandemic or political unrest then you may chose between rollover to postponed date or following year at no extra cost or refund as per above withdrawals

  • By entering this event you agree to abide by race rules and sign the event indemnity form




The route follows the Freedom Trail from Pietermaritzburg to Rhodes along a wide variety of off-road terrain – dirt roads, farm roads and tracks, footpaths and animal tracks.  follows the route taken by Trappist monks as they headed into the area previously known as No-man's Land and East Griqualand and then across the Maloti Drakensberg Mountains to the village of Rhodes. Many of the trails retrace old historic wagon routes which are no longer in regular use. Apart from the riding, there are numerous portage sections where riders will have to hike, push and even carry their bikes.

The table below shows breakdown of distances, climbing and estimated ride times between support stations and interim stops.

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