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 Across SA - leader pattern of Martin riding slightly in front of Alex resumes, as the 2 move through Slaapkranz support station

I didn't see a tweet earlier as to what time the 2 race leaders left Chesneywold, but have since seen a tweet sent around 8h30 that, according to the Slaapkraanz support station Martin Dreyer led Alex Harris out of there, having left Slaapkranz at about 8h00. Alex was set to leave about half an hour later later. Slaapkranz is 42km on from Chesneywold, and includes a slower "semi-portage" section en route.

So for the front 2 riders, the pattern seems to be continuing of Martin normally having a slender lead each day. The tweet from Ray Sephton finished with "impressive in this weather", implying that last night's weather forecast for rain today proved correct - another cold, rainy and muddy day for riders battling through the eastern Cape High Country by the look of it.

In a 2nd tweet, Ray says...." the way its tipping down (raining) now I'd be impressed if they make Brosterley. Mud is going to kill them everywhere. Roads and portages".

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