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 -

Friday, 22 June 2012

Dreyer again has a slender lead over Alex Harris just before Moordenaarspoort support station

A familiar pattern at the front of the race. Martin Dreyer again leads Alex Harris by not too much, having just passed through the small town of Rossouw (Alex still has to go through Rossouw) and not far from Moordenaarspoort "halfway station", which is actually about three quarters of the way to Vaalbank Overnight Support Station from Slaapkranz Overnight Stop.

One tweet said.... "Roads all rivers Brakes need replacing Cables servicing. Arvy at vaalbank reenergise fight another day Slowest riding ever Everything mud!". It isn't clear who originally tweeted it, but that comes from a rider in a similar position to where Martin and Alex are, and raises the question as to how far they will get. After Moordenaarspoort, Vaalbank is another +-40 kms, which Glenn estimates they should reach by 21-22h00 this evening. Then it is a long flattish trek to Brosterley should they undertake it, which is another 46.7km. Glenn believes that section may take over 6 hours in the mud. The route from here on poses no further navigation challenges tonight. But it may be avery long haul in the current conditions, so it will be interesting to see if they pursue Brosterley..

1 comment:

  1. They are chasing each other like fox terriers,will go for Brosterley......