More riders on the way to the finish

After severe storms last night in the Cradock area, the remaining riders are trying to make their way to the finish as quickly as possible.

The first arrival this morning was Alex at 04h35 – his time establishes the benchmark at 47h35min for the inaugural event and sets the bar high for future contenders. Between bouts of sunshine and tailwinds, he also had to deal with heavy rain and mud but his determination won through and he managed to sneak in under 48 hours.

His closest pursuers, Mike and Casper were hot on his tail last night but came unstuck on the Elandsberg portage in a heavy storm which forced them to look for shelter and they ended up spending a wet, miserable night out in the Karoo scrubland. They bounced back this morning after a hearty breakfast at the Elandsberg support station and are currently making good time on their way to Stuttgart, after which they’ll be heading home to the finish in Cradock tonight.

Not far behind them is Tim, who had a long hard night on the trail between Romansfontein and Hofmeyr. He’s still battling with nausea and vomiting but keeps soldiering on, determined to also reach the finish sometime tonight. Having left Elandsberg already, he’s now on his way to Stuttgart.

Further back we have Batch C riders Theo, Colin, Gavin and Henry, who left Romansfontein this morning and are hoping to get to Hofmeyr for lunch before pushing on to Elandsberg for tonight.

The next arrivals expected in Cradock are the riders of Batch B – Fiona, Leon, Craig, Annie and Stewart, together with Jonathan from Batch A. They are currently making their way up the Schufteberg portage and should make it to Cradock by mid afternoon.

Monday wrap up

A day of weather, both good and bad. With heavy overnight rains around Molteno, the racers have had to find an extra gear to keep going. Alex left Brosterlea at 02h30 and is still on the go – today he’s been through Romansfontein, Hofmeyr and Elandsberg and is currently on his way to Stuttgart – he’ll most likely have a short break there before continuing to the finish in Cradock, so he’s expected to arrive in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Mike and Casper are a few hours behind him, having left Brosterlea at 05h30 this morning. They have just passed through Hofmeyr en route to Elandsberg for a quick nap before conituing to Stuttgart for breakfast and then home to Cradock.

Behind them is Tim, who has been ill – he was forced to take a short sleep at Romansfontein before continuing and is still on his way to Hofmeyr.

Staying at Romansfontein tonight are Theo, Colin, Gavin and Henry, who rode through from Kranskop today.

Closer to the finish are most of Batch B, Fiona, Leon, Craig, Annie and Stewart, who are all at Elandsberg tonight. With them is Jonathan (Batch A). They are expected to finish in Cradock tomorrow afternoon.

Sunday wrap up – from Cradock

Race Office packed up and hit the road today – destination Cradock. Things didn’t go quite as planned, a puncture in Barkly East and a detour to Chesneywold to collect Robbie McIntosh, meant a delay in getting to the other end.

Robbie got about 30km out of Rhodes before he started experiencing chest pains and having difficulty breathing. He opted to withdraw to go in search of a doctor and was noticeably disappointed with today’s turn of events.

The rest of his batch made rapid progress out of Rhodes. Tim was going well until mid afternoon when he slowed – he seems to be struggling and is not feeling well. The end result is that he’s staying at Moordenaarspoort tonight trying to recover.

And then there are the non-stop night riding brigade. Just up the road are Mike and Casper, who checked in at Kranskop for a quick supper – they then left to take on the night, next stop Brosterlea and who knows after that…

At the same time Alex is nearing Brosterlea – a quick pit stop there and he’ll be off to tackle the Stromberg portage

The rest of the batches are already asleep but all made good progress today – thanks in part to the superb riding conditions – clear skies, dry roads and only a gentle breeze.

Batch C riders Theo, Colin, Gavin and Henry are staying at Kranskop tonight, while Anthony is at Brosterlea (he’s still battling with tyre issues)

Batch B riders Fiona, Leon, Craig, Annie and Stewart, together with Batch A rider Jonathan are all staying at Romansfontein tonight.

Making first tracks at the moment are Carl and Coen who had another good day, going all the way from Romansfontein to Stuttgart – they’ve ticked off some impressive days so far and are due in Cradock sometime tomorrow (Monday) morning.

Monday morning news

Its been raining in the Stormberg since the early hours of this morning – this has affected all the riders still moving through that area.

Batch C riders Theo, Colin, Gavin and Henry are on their way to Brosterlea where they will stop for a while before continuing on towards the Stormberg portage.

Tim (Batch D) left Moordenaarspoort at 00h30, stopped in at Kranskop for 45min and is now very close to Brosterlea.

Up the road is Anthony, having left Brosterlea this morning. He seems to have sorted out his tyre issues for the moment.

Mike and Casper (Batch D) got to Brosterlea at 03h30 this morning and left again at 05h30 – they are now heading up the Stormberg portage in the rain.

Alex (Batch D) also stopped at Brosterlea, arriving at 11h30 last night and leaving again at 02h30. He’s now approaching Romansfontein, which puts him about 3 hours ahead of his chasers.

Batch B, Fiona, Leon, Craig, Annie and Stewart, together with Jonathan (batch A) all left Romansfontein this morning and are heading for Hofmeyr and then Elandsberg.

Batch A - Dave, Dawn, Chris, Colleen, Janine, Brad and Ray left Elandsberg at 04h00 and have just arrived at Stuttgart. After a second breakfast, they will be heading to the finish in Cradock.

Carl and Coen left Stuttgart at 05h00 and are currently going over the Schufteburg portage – after that its just the short climb up the back of Swaershoek Pass and then the long descent into Cradock.

Sunday morning action

The rain held off overnight and Batch D, Mike, Casper, Tim, Robbie and Alex all left Rhodes looking determined. They are making good progress towards Chesneywold, except for Robbie, who has now backed off, complaining of a tight chest – he will stop at Chesneywold to reassess.

Ahead of them are Theo, Colin, Gavin and Henry (Batch C), who are now making their way off the Slaapkrantz portage and heading for a muddy Bontehoek portage undeterred.

Anthony (Batch C) is ahead of them, he left Moordenaaarspoort this morning and is closing in on Kranskop support station.

Then we have most of Batch B, Annie, Stewart, Craig, Leon and Fiona, who left Kranskop before first light and are on their way to Brosterlea, after which they will be heading for Romansfontein.

Out front we have Carl and Coen, who left with Batch A from Romansfontein this morning. They all got a bit lost going over Aasvoelberg portage but are now back on track and heading to Hofmey – the pie shop closes at 13h00 on a Sunday but they should make it with time to spare and then head on to Elandsberg.

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