The Freedom Challenge

The Freedom Challenge Race Across South Africa is an "unsupported" non-stage mountain bike race of approximately 2,300 km across South Africa. While recent winners have won in around 11 days, the race cut-off is 26 days. The race starts in Pietermaritzburg in early-to-mid-June, and ends in Paarl near Cape Town. Temperatures are known to drop as low as minus-10 deg. Celsius. While there are periodic "support stations" which will feed and accommodate riders should they require, the race is unsupported in the sense that riders must carry their own clothing and equipment, are responsible for their own maintenance and navigation (without the aid of GPS), and there are no marshalls or safety officials on the course (Race monitoring is done by satellite tracking). Estimates of cumulative ascent are around 37,000 metres, and the highest point on the route is approximately 2,700 metres above sea level. See the following link for an introductory slideshow by Mike Roy -

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

A brief introduction to the Freedom Challenge Race Across South Africa


2300 km MOUNTAIN BIKE race, non stop and unassisted, starting in Pietermaritzburg in mid-June every year and following South Africa's Freedom Trail to end in Wellington outside Cape Town


Mid June - mid July


Limited field of maximum 60 participants


2300 kms


From Pietermaritzburg along the Freedom Trail through the Karoo to Paarl (outside Cape Town).


•             Geography: ranges from coastal to mountainous to semi-desert (the race covers six terrestrial   biomes)
•             Anticipated temperatures: range from 30 degrees Celcius to minus 10 degreees Celcius
•             Altitude variation: Cumulative ascent 37 000 metres
•             Highest point: 2700 metres above sea level


The mountain bike stage is UNSUPPORTED.

•             No individual seconding is permitted during the mountain bike stage.
•             All meals and accommodation (including bedding) are provided at approximately 25 support stations spaced at intervals approximately 100 kilometres apart along the length of the Trail.
•             Participants may also pre-ship a 2 litre personal package to each support station to collect as they pass through.

The mountain bike stage is NON-STOP with only two enforced dark zones only (unless weather or wild animals necessitate more).  It is within an individual participant's discretion to decide whether they wish to utilise the accommodation provided at each support station.

Support Stations occur every 100kms (approx) providing all meals, sponsored supplements and accommodation. Challengers may pre-ship one 2 litre box of personal supplements, maps and other requirements to each support station.

"Don't worry too much about bringing your sense of humour into Stettynskloof, you are welcome to mine - I left it in a riverbed halfway up the kloof...".

Taken from the Freedom Challenge Website -

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