RTC 21 March 2019

Photos: Llewellyn Lloyd

Today saw the start of the racing batch consisting of Mike Woolnough, Jurjen Draaijer, Ingrid Avidon. Lee Macpherson nd Grant Cowen also started today but with no intentions of racing, they just had a delayed start from their origional scheduled start on 16 March.

Mike charheged off the startline, passing through chesneywold around 9am, slaapkranse at 11:30, Moordenaarspoort at 4pm and Kranskop for dinner. Jurjen kept within an hour until he went a bit wrong on Bonthoek portage and soon realised that racing the freedom trail demands a certain amount of school fees be payed.

On the other end of the trail the first batch arrived safely in Cradock. Justin Dowdle rode through Newlands on 20 March, cutting his intended 6 day ride by a day and reunite with Andrea a day early. The Basels left Newlands at 02h30 to get make it to Cradock for lunch whilst the remaining foursome of Roger, Dom, Andrew and Rob all ariived mid afternoon in high spirits.

Team hardcore all doubled up from Elandsberg for a long and tough final push to Cradock which left them emotional and amped on the finish line. Celebrations and war stories kept the crew up late into the evening. There is no doubt that this experience was a real bonding experience for the durban group of mates!

Unfortunately this day ended with a bit of a sour taste in the mouth as Jason, Gary and Don confessed to having caught a lift 20km to Romansfontein after a day of endless mechanicals and accepted disqualification from the event.


RTC 19 March 2019

The first batch had load of fun on a beautiful day from Romansfontein via Hofmeyr to Elandsberg. Some of them toyed with the idea of pushing on to Newlands but in the end they rather opted for a bit of fun with the animals at Elandsberg.

Photos: Justin Dowdle

Team hardcore successfully made it through the third and longest day on the bike. They took a liesurely stop at Brosterlea for lunch which meant they only got into Romansfontein at 8pm. It was tough out there but they powered through.

Photos: Llewellyn Lloyd

The third batch left Slaapkrans at 5am for a sunrise hike up the mountain. They had Ray to help them throuh the tricky portages so made good work of these through the morning.

Photos: Llewellyn Lloyd

We caught up with them enjoying the Moordenaarspoort lawns and soup before they nipped off to Kranskop, all arriving before 4 apart from Ron who took it much slower and also got a bit lost before Bonthoek so he is spending the night up on the mountain. We are certain that he has enuogh gear positivity to get him through. The weather could not be better for a night out. No starters tomorrow and then the racers set off on Thursday.

Photos: Chris Fisher


RTC 18 March 2019

The front batch had a very early start with Basels heading out at 4am. Rob, Roger, Dom and Andrew left at 5. They didnt make any mistakes with a quick lunch stop at Brosterlea and then past the Stormberg Blochouse and down to Romansfontein to arrive around 6pm. Justin Dowdle put in a massive effort to pretty much catch up with his batch after starting 3 hours back at Moordenaars.

Team hardcore also moved well today, managing the tricky morning over slaapkrans and bonthoek portage with precision and then slogged out a long and tough afternoon to Kranskop arriving just after dark.

The 3rd batch left Rhodes this morning. This batch consists of local farmer and Freedom Challenge stalwart Ray Sephton as well as Charles Hughs, Greg Fisher, Ron Smythe and the 4 mates riding together: Don Tocknell, Jason Crookes, Gary Erusmus and Russell Wood.

Charles was quick out the blocks. Greg caught him just before Chesneywold and they stuck together to make Slaapkrans by 2. Ray was about an hour back nursing a bit of a fever and the foursome had a smooth day arriving at around 4pm. Ron looked to be having a very strong day but slowed in the late afternoon and eventually got caught coming off the Kopokkraal in the dark. He missed the start of the track at Spitkoppe so struggled down near the river for a few hours before coming to standstill, at which, Andre and Llewellyn went up to rescue him and he rode down for a 11pm finsh.


RTC 17 March 2019

Photos : Llewellyn Lloyd

The first Batch had a long day from Slaapkrans to Kranskop. Thick mud would have made for testing portages. They took 7 hours to do the first 20km. Unfortunately Andrea Jeurissen took a tumble and hurt her leg which meant her and Justin slowed down and conservatively made their way to Moordenaarspoort for the night. The rest pushed on to arrive at Kranskop after dark. Unfortunately Andrea has had to withdraw from the race so now Justin has his work cut out for him to catch up to his mates. They are all planning on heading to Romansfontein.

Batch 2: Al Nairn, Jason Wesson, Mark Pattison, Mike Harker and Andrew Langford.

These guys had a pretty good first day considering this was the first time on the Freedom Trail for all of them. After more heavy rain overnight they had to deal with some relatively muddy roads but they made no mistakes en route to Slaapkrans to arrive at 16h50.


RTC 16 March 2019

Photos: Llewellyn Lloyed

The Race To Cradock 2019 start venue has moved to Alpine Swift Trails, 3km outside of town towards Naudes Nek. Batch one riders started arriving on 15 March and quickly got busy with final bike prep.

After a heavy night of rain the team set off in beautifully calm conditions but the mud made things relatively slow-going.

Batch 1: Mark and Debbie Basel, Roger Nicholson, Dominic Giampaolo, Justin Dowdle, Andrea Jeurissen and Rob Verseput.

They all had a great day of riding, arriving in Chesneywold around 11 and in at Slaapkrans by 5pm for a successful first day on the saddle.

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Chris Fisher +27(0)78 702 9178 (Race Director)
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