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, 3 July 2012

Daily wrap-up - 3rd July.

A beautiful, sunny day here at Diemersfontein today – but apparently not for long, as a new cold front approaches…. The effects haven’t yet been felt out on the route, as everyone has been making steady progress:
  • Steven Kellerman was at it again today, leaving from Grootdam, passing over the Struishoek portage. He checked in at VandeVenterskraal at 14h30, stopped for an hour and pressed on. He lost his way a bit after that, missing a turn and heading south towards along a district road but realised his error and turned around to get back onto the route. He stopped in at the Koedoeskop farm house to get directions from the farmer – as at 19h00, he was still on the move.
  • Dino, Roman and Katarina seemed to have teamed up for the last few days – they all left Bucklands this morning and headed off towards Cambria. They were still a way out of Cambria when it got dark but made it to the Kudu Kaya support station at 19h15.
  • Travis and Burton got in at Willowmore after dark yesterday after successfully completing the big double from Cambria. Today was pretty straightforward for them, leaving early and getting safely across to Prince Albert at 16h15.
  • The Wyn-trein (Gawie, Sean, Casper and Charl) did the same thing today, Willowmore to Prince Albert, arriving a bit earlier though. They were all in by mid-afternoon, leaving plenty of time to settle in, uncork some wine and enjoy the good food and hospitality at Dennehof Guest House. This bus seems to be having a great time out there!
  • Tim and Jody both left Prince Albert this morning before dawn – both intent on doubling up to Rouxpos. Jody arrived at 17h45 and Tim was not too far behind.
  • Andre also left Prince Albert this morning, although it was a lot earlier. He passed through Gamkaskloof for breakfast at 08h00 and pushed on up the ladder and on towards Rouxpos. A quick stop for waffles at Rouxpos and then on towards Anysberg. He phoned in from the Rooiberg farmstead late afternoon and should arrive at Anysberg before 21h00 tonight. That’s another big push from Andre, clearly, he’s keen to get home!
  • Leaving from Rouxpos, we had Peter and Johann. After a late night, they left late and got to Anysberg at 13h50. Although they had time to push on, they decided to stop and rest up because Peter is nursing a tendon injury. Lize also left Rouxpos and arrived at Anysberg in the afternoon.
  • The now quite famous ‘Sensible Five’ left Montagu early this morning, stopped at McGregor for coffee and then enjoyed a scrumptious brunch at Kasra. They pushed on to Trouthaven and were all in before dark. Last night to raid boxes tonight before taking on Stettyn’s Kloof in the morning.
  • Leaving Trouthaven at 05h15, we had Gerrit and Brian. They have spent the better part of today walking up Stettyn’s Kloof on their way to the finish at Diemersfontein. A small group of friends and family has gathered here to welcome them home – the trackers have picked them up on the tar road pass so it won’t be long before the cross the finish line.

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