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

Friday, 29 June 2012

Not even a truck will stop Dreyer now

If the excitement of the chase across the country by the 2 race leaders Martin Dreyer and Alex Harris hasn't been enough, leader Martin Dreyer, who was about 4-4.5 hours ahead of Alex, was knocked by a delivery van on the road to Stettynskloof. Besides the fact that he could have been seriously injured, this could have seen his race end in disaster, should either he or his bike have been badly injured/damaged.

According to Glenn's account, the van seemed to "clip" him as it went past, hurting his arm but leaving him and his bike otherwise intact.

And so, on goes "The Machine" towards the finish, with not even a truck being able to stop him. He is currently in Stettynskloof, out of reach of Tracker. The good time he made today means that most of the portage up the kloof will have been done in daylight. And as long as there are no navigation errors in the kloof, it should be plain sailing down to Diemersfontein for a race victory and a new race record this evening.

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