6 June - the early bird report

Day 1 of the 2015 Freedom Challenge was a blustery affair. The first batch of Race to Rhodes riders fought strong, cold  headwinds on their way to Minerva and the pace was steady but slow. The depths of the Umkomaas Vallley provided some respite and they made the most of it by taking time out to brew up some coffee on a camping stove. But at the top of Hela Hela, the wind was waiting and the last 20km into Allendale were hard work. 

The result was a later than usual arrival after a long hard day in the saddle - Ernst was first to arrive just before 5pm, with PJ, Nigel and Trevor following soon after. The rest of the batch, Chris, Russell, John and Jeremy had their first taste of night riding and eventually got in just after 7pm.

The forecasts are for kinder conditions today, with the wind set to die down and the promise of clear skies - this should help Batch 1 overcome the tough stage to Ntsikeni and hopefully give them the chance of all arriving before dark this time.

It should also make things a bit easier for Batch 2, who are heading for Allendale today.