Day Two - Oudtshoorn to Calitzdorp

After spending our evening at an Oudtshoorn local a few of us had agreed to tag along with Erik Kleinhans for a 45km “warm-up” ride to our breakfast spot and official start point for the day at the Swartberg Country Manor. The more responsible among us chose to use the early morning hours wisely by sleeping in and enjoying the comfort of a shuttle ride instead of mildly suffering on Erik’s wheel.

After a hearty breakfast at Swartberg Country Manor we set off towards Calitzdorp. The 50km route was predominantly downhill as we dropped off the foothills of the famed Swartberg Pass. A few kickers and short climbs tested the legs after our morning warm up efforts, but the long sections of fast sweeping roads had us all grinning from ear to ear as we passed through some of the most incredible lush farmlands tucked away at the foot of the mountains.


Having made some last minute arrangements for a gravel bike I hadn’t put too much thought into my tyre choice. The semi-slick 27.5x1.75 tyres on the Cannondale Slate are superbly good rollers and have handled the gravel roads well, but I did need to shave speed today to stay upright through the loose corners.

Thankfully I kept the rubber side in contact with the gravel and had heaps of fun racing down descents in full aero-tuck mode despite the lack of traction.

With just a few kilometers to go we stopped off for a quick gin and tonic and a obligatory flag shot overlooking the Calitzdorp Dam.

Arriving in Calitzdorp we spent a relaxing afternoon at the Boplaas cellar sampling their award winning port and tucking in to a lunch braai.


What’s up with the Jersey colours?

Although the Tour de Braai is, as the name suggests, a tour rather than a race you may have noticed the multicoloured jerseys donned by participants. All participants get the orange version of the jersey in their race pack, but there are some special jerseys.

Here is Jan Braai’s explanation:

We chose orange to match the colour of a perfect flame. The design is inspired by Eddie Merckx’s jersey of the 1970s. Erik Kleinhans, being a real pro, insisted on a yellow jersey for the best strava segment. Tim Brink couldn’t fit into the smallest Bioracer jersey, so we made a special jersey for him. The fact that the light baby blue matches Tim’s eyes is a pure coincidence. The truth is, the colour of all the jerseys was chosen simply to look cool.


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