Thursday, 23 June 2011

Day 10 - Stopping halfway at Hofmeyer

The last 10km yesterday was a nightmare. The riders got lost on confusing farm roads in the dark, and had to pedal/carry through mud for a couple of hours. They eventually reached the Kranzkop support station by 11h30 at night. Tired and cold. At this stage they have already traveled more than 820 km and climbed about 16km since the 14th of June.

"And there is the mountain we are going to"
In the last hour or so when all hope seemed to have been lost, the riders decided to split today and only aim for Hofmeyer. This half-way stop is still a massive 98km away with a climb over Aasvoelkop along the route. It means that they will have to catch up the lost time to reach the 26 day cut-off at the current pace.

"Another mountain we had to portage with Keith Scott having a break"
So far, the weather seems to be playing along. It is extremely cold, but luckily the riders have not hit any rain or snow. The sections that they battled with most was still very wet after recent rains. This seemed to be the only concern they had until the news of a cold front, due to hit them tomorrow.

They reached Hofmeyer at around 17h00 and already feel much better about their chances of finishing the race.

"Mr Loos with Hofmeyer in the background"

The next big section is the Karoo, which is much flatter than the last 10 days. So much so that tomorrow morning the team will already start catching up on the lost day and try to work in some extra trips to cut down on their total time. The team will have to get up at 3am and leave as quickly as possible to still finish way after dark.

Tomorrow they will tackle the last section to Support Station 10 at Elandsberg, and push through to Stuttgart. Total planned distance is more than 100kms away, but much flatter than what the guys are used to.

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