7 APRIL 2018.

The COCKSCOMB CLASSIC has all the ingredients to become one of the must do mountain bike events in South Africa.

All the days races start and finish on Bucklands Guest Farm, a well known support station of the Freedom Challenge.

Being involved with the Freedom Challenge since the beginning, we have over the years formed a good idea of how the minds of true mountain bike stalwarts work (or not work!). We formulated a one day race tough enough for the champions and their chasers, and added more races to the day, for the not so fit yet, the not so fit any more, and the up and comings of the sport.



The main race of the day is the challenging 103 km Conqueror. This race, with a total elevation of 2399m and a maximum slope of 20,6%, puts the mountain back into mountain bike racing!

This event is tough as nails, technically challenging, and a true challenge not to be taken lightly. The name says it all: There will be one Conqueror, the mountain, or you!

The route takes riders over the Great Winterhoek mountains, around the magnificent Cockscomb Peak, at 1 768m, the highest mountain in the region.  The Cockscomb, or T'Numqa in the Khoi San language, (meaning mountain in the mist), was used by sailing ships as a beacon since the early seafaring days, and during the Anglo Boer War, the British had the worlds longest heliograph station on the summit, communicating with Compass Berg more than 200km to the north.  

Riders will race through an area with 7 of the countries plant biomes – with over 7 000 plant species – the most in one region on the planet!

The race starts on Bucklands Guest Farm, follow municipal gravel roads for about 16 km, and then turn onto an old 4x4 track over the mountain. This portion is serious stuff, and will probably be as hard, or even worse, than any 10 km section you have ever done, on any race in South Africa. It is that wild! The route then follows the Elandsrivier road up to the Patensie Tower, and plunge down to the Grootriviers Poort over rugged track and some great downhill riding. From the Groot River it climbs up to Hadley, follow district road and onto farm track for the last 20 km, back to the starting point at Bucklands.  

The main race starts at 8.00 am, giving enough time to complete during day light hours. There will be 4 water points, 3 more emergency water points, and an optional support station at Hadley.

Cost per individual: R700

Cost per team: R1400




The BROILER BASH is a great, mainly gravel road race, starting and ending on Bucklands, and is designed for the “not that fit” joy riders.

The race is fast, scenic and great fun.

This race starts at 8.15 am at the race venue. There will be two water points and cold beer at the end.

Cost: R200.00 per rider.



This circular route race is on gravel roads, rather flat, not technical at all, and has two water points with lots to eat! It is scenic, easy, and designed for fun. An ideal way to burn the hours waiting for hubby to come off the mountain race, and just the thing for the novice rider who wants part of the action, but not too much of it either.

The race will start at 08.30 am

Cost: R120 per rider.


The idea is to create a fun day of mountain bike racing, around a major one day event. This will give novice riders and families the opportunity to experience a major event, meet the big names, and also have the opportunity to spend the day riding mountain bike races that suits their abilities.

Bucklands Guest Farm is about 150 km from Port Elizabeth, and it takes about 2 hours to get here. The main event of the day, the Conqueror, will take most of the day, and we want to make the day enjoyable and memorable for all.

The race venue will have enough to do for the children, with a small 3km CHICKEN RUN race right in front of the venue, where kids can ride and play all day. There will also be a donkey cart available for kids to ride, a jumping castle, and a cycle track for kiddies.

Riders and families can come from PE on the morning of the race day, or camp at Bucklands the previous night, using own camping equipment. Hot water showers and meals will be available by prior booking. There are 2 chalets on the farm, and numerous others on surrounding farms. As the party may go well into the night after the race, it may be advisable to camp on Saturday night and leave Sunday after breakfast.

Meals:  All meals are traditional Karoo food.  Vegetarians will be catered for if so requested on entry form. Friday night we will have potjiekos and roosterkoek, and Saturday night there will be sheep on the spit!

Light meals cost R50 and main meals R100. Meals include coffee, tea, juice and fruit.
Camping per person is R80.00 (or one bale of lucern, or half a bag of maize) and children under 12 camp for free.

Accommodation Options: 

Optional accommodation on Bucklands includes The Poortjie, a two bedroomed (5 people) chalet at the main venue, and The Ouwerwe, a 12 sleeper house (2 bedrooms and a dorm), 4.8 km from the main venue, for which own transport by bakkie is required.  

Five more chalets and a guest house are available on request on neighbouring farms.  Own transport required.  Distance from venue varies between 5 km and 12 km.

All additional accommodation, apart from camping, is R300 per person per night.

The hotels and guest houses in town is also a very good option, being 47 km, or 40 minutes, from the farm.




A special word of appreciation to the following people who assists selflessly to make this race happen:

Garry Green of Berg and Bush – probably the most fun MB race in South Africa!  Without your advice, inspiration and example, this race would never be the success it is bound to be.
Sally Horn, who does a fantastic job promoting all the Buckaroo Events.
Chris Lester of Greystone Estates in Port Elizabeth, and his friends, who spent many hours in the mountains to recce the route.
The fantastic farmers and friends of Steytlerville who helped in so many ways and to give this race true Karoo character.
The wonderful staff and amazing riders of the Freedom Challenge who's stories around my kitchen table inspired this race.  You are the true heroes of this sport.





Take the R75 from Port Elizabeth, (the Graaff-Reinet road), to Kleinpoort, about 60 km before Jansenville, and about 90 km after Uitenhage.

Turn left at Kleinpoort, (south), onto the Springbokvlakte gravel road, and follow for 19 km, to a T-junction at a farmstead with blue-gum trees and outbuildings with green doors. 

Turn right (west), and follow the road for 3km to a small Bucklands sign board at a junction turning left.

Turn left, (south), and follow this road for 7km, to a gate at a fork in the road, and a farm workers house on your right hand side.  There is a Bucklands sign bord.

Keep straight through gate, and after 200m, keep right, (west), at a fork in the road.

Drive 3 km, and you will get the Bucklands sign boards, turn left, (south), through the river, and you will get the main farmstead after 300m.

The first 5 km from Kleinpoort is somewhat rough and not advisable for very low cars (like Porches and the like), but after that the road improves and is in good condition all the way to the farm.


The shortest and most scenic route is the R62 to Oudtshoorn, from there via De Rust and Barandas to Willowmore.  (You can also drive to George, over the mountain via Uniondale to Willowmore).  From Willowmore, follow the cement road to Steytlerville.  When you enter Steytlerville,  turn right onto the gravel road saying Cockscomb or Uitenhage.  (If you need anything from town, turn left to the hotel, shops and gas station, as this is the last place to buy anything).

Follow the gravel road for 4.5 km to a fork in the road, where you turn left.

After 30 km take the road turning off to the right, saying Bucklands and Sandpoort.  Follow for 10 km to the Bucklands sign board and turn sharp right, follow for 300m and you will get coffee!

The GPS coordinates are:  33º28'46.22”S x 24º41'50.22”E

There is Vodacom and Cell C reception all the way on the gravel road, so if you feel uncertain, please call us on:

The farm telephone number is:      049 8370033
The cell phone number is:        082 4972372

The Cockscomb Conqueror is organised by  BUCKAROO ADVENTURE SPORTS.

BUCKAROO hosts adventure sports events such as 4x4, Mountain Biking, Trail Running, Multi-day Hiking, Adventure Racing, and more.

The Buckaroo Events all happen at, or start on the farm Bucklands, a Karoo sheep and guest farm at the foot of the Cockscomb Mountain, in the Steytlerville district, Eastern Cape.