Tonight is a night of 2 significant climbs for the race leaders, one, the Swartberg Pass, which has already been completed by Martin Dreyer, but which still awaits Alex harris.
|The steep and winding Swartberg Pass-en route to Die Hel|
The route profile into Die Hel was covered in an earlier post. The question that needs to be answered is does Martin have a sleep stop in Die Hel at the support station, or does he move on to Rouxpos, which is 60.2km beyond that? As at Die Hel support station, which he is expected to reach shortly, at around 22h00-23h00, Martin will have covered a massive 263.5km since leaving Willowmore at 03h10 this morning in a 19 -20 hour push, with only a 1 hour break at Prince Albert. And he only slept about 1.5-2 hours in Willowmore last night.
So the money would probably be on Martin sleeping briefly in Die Hel after such a long session. But then Martin seems to be one of those guys who you shouldn't bet against.
Whether he sleeps or not in Die Hel, the break should probably not be expected to be too long. Although tired, one would imagine that he must be in a really good frame of mind despite surely being tired. Cape Town is getting very near now, and positive and upbeat attitude can greatly assist one's energy levels. One feels at this stage that Martin needs a serious technical bike problem, or an injury, to stop him from winning the race now. And with a good few hours' lead, he has the liberty of not having to ride recklessly.
|Die Leer (The Ladder) portage|
Periodically, the Freedom Challenge has had a problem with riders getting stopped by a farmer whose land Die Leer route crosses, and who claims that it is private land. The race organisers have taken legal advice on the matter, and a public right of way still exists on this historic route.
Distance from Die Hel support station to Rouxpos: 70km
Cumulative Ascent: +1917m
Cumulative Descent: -1642m
Expected travel time: 6-7 hours
|Heading For Die Hel|
Top of Die Leer - awesome view of Die Hel behind