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, 10 July 2012

Race update - Tuesday 10th July

More action at Diemesrsfontein today - the arrival of Dino on his trusty Alaskan Wolf, as well as Roman and Katarina, the touring Euros.

They all rolled in just before 7pm and the race office were there to welcome them with wine and pizza.

Roman and Katarina were in good spirits after having completed what they referred to as "RASA-Lite" - initially they started out as part of the race but on arrival in Rhodes, were in two minds about continuing the arduous journey. Since they had come out to see the country, they took a rest day and decided to carry on to the finish via the touring route (which is slightly different and avoids most of the portage sections). Although no longer eligible for blankets, they did get to enjoy pizzas and wine at the finish!

Another arrival this evening was Dino on his Alaskan Wolf - the man and his steel steed have had quite the adventure in the last few weeks and its not over yet, Dino sets off on the Berg River canoe marathon tomorrow morning, the final leg of the FC Extreme Triathlon. Not sure if he's going to be paddling a wooden dugout canoe down the river but it probably wouldn't make any difference to him, he's tough as nails!  Dino's ride has taken him 23days 12hours 40min - great effort which included a night the container suite at Hotel Lehana, a cracked frame which was welded back into shape in the Kranskop farm workshop and whole host of other minor mechanicals, none of which could stop him moving forward for too long. Johann Rissik was eagerly awaiting the arrival of the ailing Wolf in Prince Albert but apart from replacing some spokes, Dino wasn't too worried about the rest. (You can read Johann's account of events here: )
So no blanket for Dino just yet, he gets his at the end of the paddle - but well done so far and all the best for the next leg of your journey!

So that leaves only one rider out on the trail - Stephen Kellerman - who today had a bit of a late start from Rouxpos and only got as far as Anysberg. All the cottages were booked, so he's sleeping in the laundry tonight - what a pity that he got all his laundry done at Rouxpos last night! He will need to get to Diemersfontein on Friday if he still wants a blanket, so for him there's still work to be done.

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