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 - http://mg.co.za/multimedia/2010-02-04-extreme-endurance-the-freedom-challenge
Saturday, 7 July 2012
Tim van Coller is home
Tim arrived at Diemersfontein this afternoon at 16h20. His finishing time for this year's ride is 21days 10hours 20 min. He started the ride with his mate Andy Masters (as the Two Old Farts) but Andy unfortunately withdrew at Rhodes due to illness, so Tim continued without him. Tim had a remarkable ride this year - with his prior route knowledge, he made very few navigation errors and apart from losing some time in the mist on the Aasvoelberg, he consistently made good time. He clawed back any lost time with a few sneaky doubles and towards the end, was riding double stages every day. He looked comfortable the whole way, quite in contrast to last year's ride where he struggled with injury. Tim was well prepared this year, he managed to shed some weight from his backpack, switched to a new 29er and was generally a lot fitter than before - as a result he rode strongly to the finish - well done on a really good effort Tim.