Please note due to the overwhelming interest, we will be closing our entries on 3 May 2024.

King Price Race to the Sun 2023

Gravel Racing at its Best!

Race day at Hartbeespoort Dam, the start of the King Price Race to the Sun 2023, dawned fine and clear. A slight overnight drizzle ensured the roads were sufficiently wet to reduce the dust factor significantly. Of course, it meant muddy patches in sections making for interesting racing.

The 7-kilometre neutral zone at the start of the race crosses the iconic Hartbeespoort dam wall, and riders always enjoy this scenic jaunt through the town streets before flying off the moment they hit the gravel!

Elite Men

From the get-go the pace was fierce, and the flat, scenic canal roads had the Elite Men’s stretched out at the blistering pace set by the leading pack containing Matt Beers, Gert Heyns, Alex Miller, Pieter du Toit, Wessel Botha, Kent Main, Tristan Nortjie and HB Kruger. A tumble in the bunch saw Kent Main and Alex Miller falling off that leading pack. Alex Miller was able to get back onto that bunch, but Kent Main and Nico Bell continued to chase hard.

The leading bunch blitzed through the halfway point at water point 2 transitioning seamlessly and approaching the KOM a few kilometres up the road. Alex Miller is crowned king with HB Kruger second and Pieter du Toit in third.

The portage section after the river crossing at about 20 kilometres to go saw Matt Beers flying up the rough and rocky terrain – the only rider able to make it safely up and over without making a mistake.

But it was Alex Miller (Pyga Eurosteel) who raced over the line at Sun City and took the win.

Alex Miller 04:21:39 

Matt Beers (Toyota Specialized) 04:21:41 

Pieter du Toit (Imbuko {type}DEV) 04:21:42

Elite Women

From early in the race, Samantha Sanders, Sarah Hill and Catherine Colyn broke away from the Elite Women’s batch. The three raced wheel-to-wheel until Catherine’s chain came loose. The technical set her back, leaving Sarah and Sam to work tactically together until the very end. The gap between Catherine and the leading women was approximately 10-15 minutes. 

Coming into the Half Way point, Sarah and Sam were neck-and-neck. Sam’s transition was seamless, while Sarah struggled to find her crew to assist with a fresh-hydration pack and water refill. Sarah (in an interview) mentioned that Sam waited for her to refill during this section of the race so they could work together to widen their lead. 

Catherine Colyn said that the technical setback was disappointing and disheartening. She managed to dig deep mentally to shorten the distance between her and Sam and Sarah. By halfway Colyn had closed the gap, with less than 3-mins between herself and the leads. 

Sarah and Sam sat wheel-to-wheel until the very end, but the title was secured by Sarah after a close dash to the finish.

Sarah Hill – 02:20:49

Sam Sanders – 02:20:50

Catherine Colyn – 02:23:56

50-Miler

The inaugural 50-mile distance at this year’s King Price Race to the Sun was a massive success. 50-mile riders started their gravel adventure at the halfway mark at Beestekraal Kerk at 09h30. E-bikers, youths, veteran riders and those not quite fit enough for the 100 miles had a blast on the gravel all the way to Sun City.

Route

King Price Race to the Sun 2023 was a rough ride! The gravel roads were corrugated in places and washed away, but, hey, #NoExcuses, right? Riders on gravel bikes had a rough ride, but how they flew down those tar and smooth gravel sections! Mountain bikers had a much more comfortable ride but sacrificed speed for comfort. So, the gravel vs mountain bike debate continues – each has its benefits 😉

Congratulations on riding a spectacular King Price Race to the Sun! 

See you next year.

The King Price Race the Sun Team 

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