Alex Harris left Elandsberg support station at around 12h05, according to Tracker. By comparison, race leader Martin Dreyer rolled out of Elandsberg at around 06h35 this morning.
This would suggest that Harris may have closed the gap slightly this morning on Dreyer as at Elandsberg, with Dreyer having an approximate lead of 5 hours and 35 minutes.
By comparison, as at Romansfontein yesterday Dreyer's lead looked to be between 6 and 6.5 hours.
Harris makes his way on to Stuttgart, while Dreyer arrived at Stuttgart at about 11h00 and left at around 11h25, en route to the Skurweberg portage.
From the start of the race, Dreyer took 5 days and 5 hours to get to Stuttgart. Harris, in his record-breaking race in 2011 took 5 days and 14 hours to Stuttgart. Both Dreyer and likely Harris look set to go faster than Harris' last year's effort to Stuttgart. Record race time still there for the taking.....weather.... and of course technical issues permitting.
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