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

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Martin Dreyer headed towards Donnybrook Forest with Alex Harris in hot pursuit (13h30 on Tracker)

At around 13h30, according to latest Tracker positions, Martin Dreyer had left Allendale and was steaming towards the Donnybrook Forest, with Alex Harris hot on his heels, having left Allendale about 15 minutes prior to that. For normal riders, the route out of Allendale is normally a tricky one navigation wise, often done early in the morning at the start of their 2nd day's riding. Donnybrook Forest can also pose navigation risks to the lesser riders. But none of this should come into play for these top guys in broad daylight. Expected time at Centacow "refreshment stop" perhaps around 16h00-16h30 for these 2? And then I would surely guess on to Ntsikeni at least tonight. Alex tweeted that conditions were great, so I guess that means not too much mud on the 1st leg to Rhodes. Glenn and Garth Flanders appeared to be at Allendale support station at the time, taking on quick food. Typically these support station quick breaks last about 15 minutes.


Nothing much in it at the moment between the racing snakes. If you ride 20-30 minutes behind you may miss a bit of sleep wherever the guys stop. But it may be more beneficial overall to ride at your own comfortable pace even if it does mean getting to the 1st sleeping spot a little behind.

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