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

Rider progress graph update - 2 July

After a period of quiet following the spectacular end to the duel between Martin Dreyer and Alex Harris on Friday evening/Saturday morning, 3rd placed Graham Bird finished at Diemersfontein today, along with Theo van Dyk and Trevor Ball.

Sadly for him, perhaps, he probably won't get the acknowledgement that he deserves, such was the standard of the race up front between Martin and Alex. Graham finished the race in 13 days, 9 hours and 5 minutes. While well behind the new "standard" set by Martin, his time beats Tim James' 2011 record setting ride, as well as being just inside Glenn's 2nd placed 2012 ride time, to make it the 4th best time in the history of the race. 

Well done Graham.

Graham arrived with Trevor Ball and Theo van Dyk. Trevor is a likely candidate for 4th position, having finished in front of his I batch riding partner for much of the race, Mike Woolnough, who is due tonight, and could take 5th spot.

Trevor's race time was 15 days, 9 hours and 5 minutes. I say a likely 4th place, because there is still Andre Visser that stands a very outside chance. But Andre has slipped a little off the pace, having only reached Prince Albert at 14h20 today. Having started 2 days behind Trevor, he would have to be at Diemersfontein on Wednesday by 15h05. That would now appear unlikely. 

Our lone woman, Dawn Bell, is riding nicely. She arrived in Montagu today, and looks set for a 21-22 day finish.

At time of writing, 5 riders are finished. That still leaves 23 riders out on the course, with Mike Woolnough due tonight.

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