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, 2 July 2012

Daily wrap - 2nd July

A busier day at Diemersfontein today with three riders finishing and another one due in tonight. But  another good day out on the trail for the rest of field:

  • Stephen Kellerman left Stuttgart this morning and made his way to the luxurious lodge at Grootdam.
  • Roman, Katarina and Dino all left Toekomst together, made it around Darlington Dam and through the Gwaas Valley without a hitch and were seen on the trackers in Kleinpoort around lunchtime. From there they carried on to Bucklands, arriving before 17h00
  • Travis and Burton had did the big Baviaanskloof double today, stopping in at Dam se Drif for lunch along the way to Willowmore. They are still riding (19h00) but are on track to arrive in the next hour.
  • Also leaving from Cambria were the members of the 'Wyn-trein' - Gawie, Casper, Sean and Charl. (Gawie's skewer problems were eventually sorted out after Peter Stephens drove up from Port Elizabeth to bring him some spares.) They left Cambria really early and had a late breakfast at Dam se Drif before pushing on to Willowmore, where they arrived mid afternoon - tomorrow the karoo flats to Prince Albert for them.
  • Andre and Jody were up to their tricks again, leaving Willowmore at 23h30pm last night, aiming for breakfast in Prince Albert. Things went a bit pear shaped during the wee hours of the morning when Jody ran out of steam and they sought refuge in a labourer's cottage for a  few hours. Andre then nursed him along to Prince Albert, where they arrived at about 14h00. They both needed to rest and decided to stay. Jody has decided to tour the rest to the finish and Andre will probably try and push hard again tomorrow. (he still has an outside chance to sneaking into fourth place...)
  • Tim jumped across those karoo flats in perfect weather today, arriving at Prince Albert in the morning and resting up for the rest of the day. He may well end up playing tour guide for 'Touring Jody" from tomorrow.
  • Leaving Prince Albert this morning we had Peter and Johan, who overslept and got away a bit later than planned. They went to Die Hel for lunch and are currently still on their way to Rouxpos. 
  • Joining the ride today was Lize Theron. She had to stop at Ntsikeni to seek medical attention after a concussion but has decided, after a rest, to continue riding as part of her fundraising efforts for the Scholarship Fund. She was also aiming for Rouxpos today and will spend the night there in the company of Peter and Johann.
  • The 'Sensible 5' (Allen, Rich, Chris, Dawn and Rory) all did the sensible thing and doubled up from Rouxpos, through Anysberg to Montagu. They all arrived in time for afternoon tea.
  • Brian left Montagu this morning, lunched at Kasra and is still on his way to Trouthaven (should be in before 9pm)
  • Gerrit left from McGregor, had brunch at Kasra and was also on his way to Trouthaven. The two will be re-united there tonight and will accompany each other up Stettyn's Kloof tomorrow, on their way to Diemersfontein.

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