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 -

Monday, 25 June 2012

RASA Monday wrap

Today the race office continued the trek towards Cape Town and the eternal search for cell phone and internet signals. This resulted in a brief morning stop in Hofmeyr to update rider's progress and phone ahead to prep support stations, together with the mandatory "koffie en beskuit"

With conditions improving and the wet roads drying up, most RASA riders had a good day today.

  • Steven Kellerman finally made it to Rhodes on his eighth day, he makes it within the nine day cut-off so the adventure continues.
  • Roman and Katarina left Rhodes today after a rest day, stopped in at Chesneywold for lunch and taught Christo how to speak some Czech, before pushing on to Slaapkranz where they arrived at 4:30pm.
  • A big group stayed at Slaapkranz last night, which included the Gautrain (Gawie, Ezanda, Casper, Charl) as well as the Hackers (Jody, Dino, Shaun, Phillip) and Andre Visser. Apart from Phillip, who decided not to continue and pulled out of the race, all of these riders made it safely over the muddy Bontehoek, past Moordenaarspoort for lunch and settled in at Kranskop for the night.
  • Ahead of them are Travis and Burton who arrived comfortably at Romansfontein before dark. They left from Brosterlea this morning where they had overnighted with Peter Stephens and John Exley - Peter and John decided they had had enough and also pulled out of the race today.
  • Leaving in an early morning rain shower from Romansfontein, we had Graham, Allen, Richmond and Tim. Tim decided to stop in Hofmeyr for the night, while the other three went through Elandsberg support station at 4:30pm and will spend the night at Stuttgart.
  • Leaving from Elandsberg today were Dawn Bell and Chris Morris, they had a great day out on the drier roads, stopping in for lunch at Stuttgart, before pushing on to Grootdam where they are currently overnighting.

  • Mike, Trevor and Theo slept at Stuttgart last night and left early, aiming for Van Deventerskraal. Mike pulled up short at Grootdam though, he's nursing a swollen right shin and ankle, so decided to take the day off and drink tea instead, under the watchful eye of his room mate the chocolate moose. Trevor and Theo pushed on and arrived at VdeVenters around 8pm.

  • Rory is just up ahead at Toekomst tonight - he got there from Grootdam today. He's been riding solo for the last 6 days and is looking forward to some other riders catching up so he has some company.
  • The battle for first place takes place just ahead of Rory - he was passed today by both Martin and Alex who were on their way to Bucklands, Hadley or even possibly Cambria. Tonight may prove to be decisive, depending on who sleeps where and who sleeps first - Alex could catch Martin or Martin extend his slim lead - in the morning we will know more.
  • Just ahead of this epic tussle we have Gerrit and Brian sleeping in Cambria - they have been the "Voorryers" up to now but will most likely be passed sometime tomorrow by Martin and Alex.  

1 comment:

  1. Great update of all the riders. Appreciated. Thanks