With yesterday’s big group arriving in Cradock, the dinner and celebrations were a festive affair. But everyone was off to bed fairly early and then the waiting game commenced. Riders due during the night were making their way closer to Cradock and Race Office was there to see them in. First to arrive in the wee hours was Charles, who arrived just before 2am, putting him comfortably under the 3-day mark. Barely 20 minutes later, Mike and Chris arrived, also happy to claim a sub-3 day finish. These three had ridden steadily since the start in Rhodes and were clearly happy to be finished - well done to all.
Their finishing times were:
Charles Mansfield 2d 21h 55min
Mike Potgieter 2d 22h 15min
Chris Mortimer 2d 22h 15min
With riders spread out along the second half of the trail, to focus shifts to the finish in Cradock. Closing in on Cradock this evening are Mike and Chris, who are expected in before midnight, having started their day at Romansfontein. Charles is also on his way, only about half an hour behind them.
Staying at Newlands tonight are Theo, Ann, Grant, Joyce, Dave and Ben - they rode through from Romansfontein today and pushed on past Elandsberg to try out this year’s new support station - a good effort from them today.
The next expected arrival at Newlands is Alex, the first of the racers. The gap back to the chasers is less than an hour and they are all heading to Cradock tonight. Alex is on track to sneak in under last year’s time but he can’t afford any sleep if he wants to pull it off.
Anthony, Mike and Casper are blitzing through Elandsberg - stopping now would a loss of momentum and the wheels could possibly come off. Despite no sleep, Mike and Casper are toughing it out and determined to see through their non-stop riding plan. Anthony banked some sleep at Brosterlea, so he’s running a bit fresher than the others but was having thoughts of a brief stop at Newlands to recharge.
Gavin and Fjord are making their way over the Elandsberg portage - in the dark - a brave move on an infamous section of the route. Will they sleep out or sleep in at Elandsberg tonight?
Back in Hofmeyr we have Lee and Bryn, who were last seen in the pub with the locals. They are contemplating the finish tomorrow but it may depend on how late the party last at the pub.
Still on her way to Hofmeyr tonight is Janine, who has had a big day that started at Kranskop. She will sleep at Hofmeyr tonight and should finish late tomorrow.
Leon Kruger 4d 10h 15min
Dave Kruger 4d 10h 15min
Alex Kingwill 4d 10h 15min
Ed Kingwill 4d 10h 15min
Andrew Hanger 4d 10h 15min
Gary Stirk 4d 10h 15min
Bard vd Westhuizen 4d 10h 15min
Trevor Maarschalk 4d 10h 15min
Russell Hanger 4d 11h 30min
John Foord 4d 11h 30min
Chris Harburn 4d 11h 30min
Adohan van den Berg 4d 11h 30min
Jac Saayman 4d 11h 30min
Fiona Coward 4d 12h 40min
Aileen Kennaugh 4d 14h 20min
Jacques Tattersall 3d 10h 15min
Rory Field 4d 10h 55min
Colin Flatau 4d 10h 55min
Sergio Maraschin 4d 10h 55min
Fabio Maraschin 4d 10h 55min
Shaun Tischendorf 4d 10h 55min
Chris Morris 5d 6h 45min
Lindsay Morris 5d 6h 45min
Chris and Lindsay rolled into Cradock just before lunch time today - they spent the night at Rockdale, the last emergency stop and had nothing but good things to say about it. Leaving early this morning, they watched the sunrise as they went up the Schurfteberg portage and cruised down the Swaershoek Pass to arrive in Cradock on their sixth day - well done guys, a great ride.