The 2024 route for The Gralloch has seen some alterations from the inaugural edition, but the character of the race remains the same. The same kind of distance, the same climbs and the same relentless gravel, so read on for a taste of what’s in store.




We rOde it so you know what’s in store!

It’s all uphill from HERE!  KM 0 - 29

The 2024 route has a new start, the race rolling out of Garries Park under neutralised conditions for a few hundred metres before the flag drops.

The profile of the opening 29km is a daunting one, we’re straight uphill the moment we cross the start line. It’s easy enough on tarmac, but after 600m the gradient ramps up and you turn left onto gravel to climb Fuffock Hill.

The gravel is firm and even getting the power down is easy enough all the way to the peak 6.5km in. At 281 metres this is the race’s highest point and with no plateau you’re descending immediately.

Descending through trees there are a few short sharp digs to keep the heart rate up, before you drop onto tarmac for about 100m, take a left over a bridge back onto gravel and a right onto another longer climb. This is Kenick Hill and though the 3% gradient over its 3km isn’t too challenging, the surface is a bit more gnarly, pick your line carefully on the descent, the gravel is chunky, even deep in places.  

At the bottom you turn right onto a beautifully smooth, fast 5km tarmac section, if you’re working together you’ll quickly be at the first feed station.

Settle in now KM 30 - 67

Off road again you’ll descend on more excellent, predictable gravel. We say descending, there’s a daunting looking one kilometre kicker with a maximum of around 8% which will take the wind out of your sails, but generally this is a joyously fast section.

There’s a right hander at the bottom and you’ll ride with the forest on your left and the marshy shore of Loch Skerrow on your right, but this is the time to make progress. Yes, there are a couple of steep ascents but a group will do well along here, past Lochs Stroan and Ken before you hit Slaughter Hill.

This is hard, no doubt, and most will need to manage their effort. It levels out in the middle but the chunky gravel won’t help, and the descent is technical too, especially with a tight right hander at the bottom.

Nothing could look more Scottish than the Raiders Road section which runs parallel to the River Dee and, though there are some nasty drags you slow you down, stock up at the feed zone. And stick together, you’ll need the company later.

On the way home? KM 68 - 87

After an 80m tarmac section you turn south, retracing your wheel tracks along the opposite river bank. Don’t be fooled, you might be over half way and have certainly reached the furthest point, but it’s not all over.

There’s no flat here, every short descent precedes another short sharp ascent until, long after you’ve left the river behind, you start a series of sapping drags. Keep your spirits up and focus, the gravel is more challenging than earlier and the word relentless begins to creep into your consciousness

At the top of one of those long drags you’ll find the day’s final feed station, and beyond that perhaps the best view of the day, the gravel trail high above Loch Grannoch. n the views are spectacular and very Scottish, as is the road surface to start, but this is a fabulous bit of road. It’s never too steep, but it’s often exposed and if the wind blows this could be very tough. That open countryside gives you a good view of who’s ahead though, and committed rouleurs working together will have plenty to get back to the front and contest the win, though there are a couple of decent uphill digs.

After the super-fast descent into Blairgowrie - another good spectator spot - it’s wide roads all the way home, but positioning will be key in the last kilometre.

You’ve Made It! Km 88-111

Round the bend and Loch Grannoch opens out to the right, you’ll be glad you’re not riding the mountains beyond it.

Now’s the time to start thinking about your end game. Are you hoping to hang onto your group, or drop them? Are you winning or surviving?

Still on rough gravel you’re on a plateau now, though with a series of short undulations you might not notice, then, with 91km under your wheels you’ll find the day’s most taxing descent.

Over four kilometres you’ll lose 150m on chunky, loose gravel. Watch out for some big stones which could send you somewhere you don’t want to be. Once on the flat you’ll take a right, cross a narrow bridge, and the Big Water of Fleet Viaduct will soon hove into view.

You can almost afford to breathe a sigh of relief as you finally leave the gravel behind, though there’s a little more climbing to come before the finish in Gatehouse of Fleet. The first section of road is fast and it’s wide enough to overtake, though the sweeping bends mean you’ll need to choose your line.

There’s a sharp left hander on the descent then you drop steeply into the river valley on a gently undulating road back to town. The final kilometre is technical, and you’ll need to ask yourself whether you need to be first or second into the final, tight right hander before the sprint to the line.

Check out ALL the ELEVATION data

Five main climbs and some of the best views you’ll find anywhere.