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 -

Friday, 6 July 2012

Johann and Peter make it home

With Andre and Jody finishing earlier in the day, the supporters waited for the next arrivals. Peter and Johann managed to sneak home just before dark and also before the first light rain started falling at Diemersfontein.

Johann started in batch F and finished in 22days 12hours, crossing the line at 6pm. He rode with Peter the whole way and they made their way steadily along the route without too much incident. He was almost late in getting his support station boxes to the race office before the start and seemed to be one of the least prepared riders to start but it made no difference to him. He took a detour right near the end when him and Peter started cycling into the Du Toits Kloof tunnel instead of up the pass, but after security chased them out, they got back on track.

Peter , the vet, also started in batch F and also finished in 22days 12hours. He arrived a few days before his start batch to scope things out and was probably one of the most prepared riders at the start. He kept a daily blog of the journey. He was hampered by a tendon injury in the latter stages of the race but it never dampened his enthusiasm and he kept moving steadily forward.

Well done guys – enjoy the blankets!

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