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1st July - the evening wrap

Our sweepers are in Prince Albert tonight, Mike Devereux and Nic van Zyl came through from Willowmore, Nic arriving later due to his persistent mechanicals - he is considering swopping out his bike for a new one tomorrow and sitting out the 6h time penalty in Prince Albert - he should still be able to move on to Gamkaskloof in the afternoon.

Jump forward to Montagu for the next riders - John Exley and Mike Glover are there tonight and hoping to go through to Trouthaven tomorrow, which means a Friday finish for them. Good Hope plays host to John Bowen and Mike Roy tonight - but how long will they stay? If they stay the night and only leave in them morning, they make it very difficult for themselves to get to Diemersfontein before the 26 day cut off, which happens at 6am on Friday morning in their case...

Trouthaven is full again tonight, with Marnitz Nienaber, Ivor Jones, Andrew Blackburn, Nic Jordan and Mike Potgieter there tonight, all resting up for the stroll up Stettynskloof in the morning. A large crowd gathered at Diemersfontein today to welcome in the riders, most of them being family and friends. First in today was Maarten Witters, who rode a fat bike and finished in 22d 10h35min after a bit of racing and a bit of touring. He rode with various groups and also on his own, so got to enjoy the full RASA experience.

Next up were Mike and Ingrid Talbot, who came in late afternoon. They’ve had a very consistent ride, had time to enjoy the places they were staying but also put in some big days along the way, all the while maintaining that they were on a honeymoon - their finishing time: 19d 11h 30min

Most of the crowds were gathered to see the Wallys and DWK across the line. Ian Verwayen, Alan Haupt and Paul Dalton (the 3 Wallys) and Johann Rissik (Dik Wiel Kommandant) rolled across the line after dark to massive cheers after a great ride by all of them. Tired and a bit tender after the exertions of Stettynskloof, they were given their blankets by none other than David Waddilove (the original Freedom Challenger) - he was especially glad to give Johann his blanket after all the years of supporting the event from Prince Albert. They all finished with a time of: 24d 13h 25min.

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