So my speculation of a rider going past Tinana last night was still a bit premature it would seem. Both riders staying at Tinana Mission last night, with Martin Dreyer once again arriving a little ahead of Alex Harris at around 22h45.
From Alex's tweet this morning it appears that he left Tinana at around 4-4h30, and indicated that Martin had left a little ahead of him.
So the 2 are still very much on record breaking pace, with Tinana representing one halfway support station ahead of what would seem in recent years to have been the "regulation" stopover for a race leader, i.e Malekhalonyane.
Right now, on Tracker it looks like Martin is well-into the Vuvu Valley portage while Alex was still a way behind approaching the portage. Today may see comms being a bit erratic in the Vuvu Valley area.
The very interesting part about today will be Lehana's Pass portage. The 2 riders have been largely riding their bikes over the past 2 days, and Martin appears to have the edge on the bike so far.Navigation-wise he tweeted the odd hiccup on the 1st night, and Alex may have the edge navigation-wise. But now for the 1st time we may be able to get an idea of who is fastest with the bike on the back....... not that there will be much to choose I'm sure.
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