As at the 2 lead riders' departure from Kasra support station, the lead situation changed noticeably, with 2nd placed Alex Harris taking a longer break than Martin Dreyer. Dreyer left Kasra at about 08h40, after only 15 minutes break. Harris stayed for about 45 minutes, leaving at 13h10.
On departure, Martin's lead was extended to around 4 hours and 30 minutes, from nearer to 4 hours earlier.
Dreyer is currently steaming towards the final support station of Trouthaven before starting the final Stettynskloof portage later this afternoon.
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 - http://mg.co.za/multimedia/2010-02-04-extreme-endurance-the-freedom-challenge