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 -

Friday, 22 June 2012

Race Acoss SA Rider Progress Graphs and Sheet (as at evening 22 June)

By all reports it was a tough day at the office for most of the riders, and even Martin Dreyer and Alex Harris may not have seen their plans materialise. I say this because it is possible that both Alex and Martin may well have ended their day's riding prenaturely at Kranzkop (previously Vaalbank), almost 50 kms short of the expected destination of Brosterlea. We can't confirm this because their trackers have stopped transmitting in the area that they have moved into, and the race office doesn't have comms with Kranzkop support station right now. 

Martin again heads the average speed table at just above 8.05km/hour, measured to Kranzkop station which he recently reached at 20h20, while Alex Harris averaged 7.98km/hour. Alex's time was measured to Moordenaarspoort, which he reached at 17h00, because at time of reporting on the rider progress tables he had not yet reached Kranzkop. So the pattern remains similar to previous days, Martin ending slightly ahead of Alex.

The bikes sound like they need quite a bit of work after the day's mud, so riding on into the night may not be an option just yet. To leave in the early hours of the morning, though, could be beneficial, provided the rain subsides, because the mud can freeze at night making it a little easier to ride. Certainly from a navigation point of view the route to Brosterley presents little in the way of navigation challenges, so night riding is not a problem from that point of view. 

One little milestone that perhaps went unnoticed yesterday was that Gerrit Pretorius and Brian O'Regan reached De Doorns to pass the 1,000km mark. Today they should get to van de Venters Kraal, and are about half way to Cape Town and still furthest down the track.

Below the graphs.

1 comment:

  1. What has happened to Burton and Travis Grp G?