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 -

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Rider Progress Graphs - Martin Dreyer fastest man in the race through Allendale earlier today.

And here are the most recent rider progress charts, taken from earlier Freedom Challenge rider progress tables (posted on FC website around 22h00). It is debatable as to what constitutes a race leader when everyone is at different stages of the race, but at the moment Martin Dreyer is probably as close to it as one gets. The average speed table puts him at the top at the Allendale support station at 12h45 today, averaging 14.74km/hour for the 1st "stage". That was the fastest time of any racer this year to Allendale, closely followed by Alex Harris, Andre Visser, Glenn Harrison, Graham Bird and Garth Flanders. By 13h34 the whole Batch J bar August Carstens had arrived at Allendale support station.

As at time of writing, Martin should have reached Ntsikeni's May Lodge, but no confirmation yet, with Alex Harris not far behind. Alex has a broken saddle to contend with so may have to do running repairs at May Lodge.

To the best of my knowledge, and Tracker's, Glenn is still resting up at Centocow as at 22h36.

Further up front, Mike Woolnough and Trevor Ball should be closing in on Rhodes within the 3 day mark, an impressive feat, tackling Lehana's Pass in the dark.

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