The Freedom Challenge is a mountain bike race of approximately 2350 km distance across some of South Africa’s most rugged but spectacular countryside, winding its way South West from Pietermaritzburg into the Eastern Cape, and then on through parts of the Karoo towards Cape Town. It is a non-stop, unsupported race from Pietermaritzburg to Cape Town. By “non-stop” is meant that there are no stages. Riders plan when they want to ride and where and when they want to stop to rest, and there is a simple 26 day cut-off time by which they must arrive at Diemersfontein Farm in Paarl. There are 26 “support stations” on the route past which the riders must travel, and where they can replenish supplies, take on food, and sleep should they so wish.
The race involves climbing a cumulative altitude of 47000 metres. To put this in perspective, the Cape Epic reportedly has a cumulative climbing altitude of 14-18,000, while the famed Tour de France’s “category climbs” amount to a total of around 25,000m.
On the Mail and Guardian website, Mike Roy shows some of his Freedom Challenge 2010 photos in a narrated slideshow. The view this slideshow, click here.
For more information in the Freedom Challenge, the official site can be found here.