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 -

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Race Across South Africa Rider Progress Update (Situation as at Thursday Evening 14 June)

Slowly that race graphs are filling up. Batch G goes off today. As at last night's rider progress update there was still  no sign of support station "skipping". Gerda Milford's bar is marked in red, as her day's details had not been updated as at last night. It seems as if she made the mistake of relying too heavily on David Waddilove's narrative directions, and ended up at a farmhouse where she shouldn't have been. Fortunately, the legendary "SuperJack" Black heard of her plight, and rode half way across the Drakensberg in the freezing cold, risking life and limb to rescue her, and according to recent tweets she's at Masakala, which should mean she'll be back on schedule today.

So Batch F's riders had the fastest average speeds as at last night, having only completed one stage to Allendale and not yet having had sleep time slow their average speeds. None of them, however could match Chris Morris' average 1st day speed of above 10km/hour. On his 2nd day, Chris once again looked strong, having arrived at Ntsikeni at 15h33.

Hennie de Clerq and Gerrit Pretorius of Batch A remain furthest down the road to Cape Town, having "led the tour" into Rhodes yesterday. 

And so we still wait for the big action to start, and surely it will over the weekend as the "madmen" start to leave Maritzburg.

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