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“Let’s cycle across the country and run some pointy bits in between…”

At 5 am, on 12 May 2023, the team of Jock Green, Ryno Griesel and Stephan Griesel will start the 9 Peaks Challenge ( in South Africa. They will, however, add a twist to the traditional format as designed by the founder, Kobus Bresler in March 2011.

Kobus describes the original challenge as follows:

“The 9 Peaks Challenge includes the summit (on foot) of the highest peak in each of South Africa's provinces. The peaks are connected by road travel and makes for a beautiful adventure challenge and a unique way to explore the country”.

In April 2015, the father and daughter pair of Colin and Bianca Cooper creatively replaced the driving portion of the challenge, by cycling it on steel Qhubeka bicycles instead. They completed this groundbreaking adventure in 45 days.

They are, to date, the only finishers of the 9 Peaks “cycle”.

Inspired by Colin and Bianca’s achievement – Jock, Ryno and Stephan will attempt to finish the 9 Peaks cycle challenge in about 14 days under the banner of #9PEAKSBIKE.

Jock and Ryno will cycle and run and supported by Stephan in a Ford Ranger, they will start in the north of the country and make their way south.

  1. Iron Crown, 2126m (Limpopo)

  2. De Berg, 2331m (Mpumalanga)

  3. Nooitgedacht-west, 1816m (North-West)

  4. Toringkop, 1913m (Gauteng)

  5. Namahadi, 3291m (Free State)

  6. Mafadi, 3451m (Kwazulu-Natal)

  7. Kwaduma, 3019m (Eastern Cape)

  8. Murch Point, 2156m (Northern Cape)

  9. Seweweekspoort, 2325m (Western Cape)

The traditional drive format of the challenge dictates parking spots where vehicles must be parked per peak, from where the challengers must continue further on foot towards the respective summits. The cycle rules, allow that the team can cycle as close as possible to the summit – which could result in some interesting route choices.

The team brings together a vast range of experience.

Jock Green Cycling
(c) Terence Vrugtman

Jock Green is a former professional cyclist and multiple South African road cycling champion. He has over 20 years of bike racing experience in South Africa, Europe and abroad. He is a trail runner with wins in the Ultra Trail Drakensberg and Karkloof 100 milers under his belt. He is the co-holder of the 100km Magaliesberg Traverse FKT (Fastest Known Time). He is a Salomon South Africa ambassador alongside Ryno. Jock will no doubt take charge of the athletic focus of the project.

Ryno Griesel Running
(c) Terence Vrugtman

Ryno has years of experience in Adventure Racing and has completed a few long-distance, Red Bull Adventure projects with Salomon professional runner, Ryan Sandes. Ryno is currently the co-holder of the team FKT for the traditional 9 Peaks Challenge, with Ruan van der Merwe and Greg Avierinos. (64 hours – 2017). He will head up the navigation for the project.

Ryno  andStephan Griesel
(C) Craig Kolesky

Stephan is Ryno’s brother and has overseen the logistics of many of Ryno’s previous projects. Stephan is a 4x4 expert, experienced photographer, and avid cook. He will take charge of logistics, media, and nutrition.

The clock will start at the designated parking spot of the first peak, and finish at the summit of the last. The team will cover over 3000km on the bike while climbing 25 000m of elevation. The summits on foot will see them run 135km, climbing 8000m. This will result in a total elevation gain of over 33 000m meters.

You can follow the live tracking of their journey (by SPORTRAX), as well as gain more insight into the challenge, its rules and previous finishers at:

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