Day 4 Wrap

Day 4 wrap

Tuesday, 15 June 2010
David Waddilove

With the twitter temporarily down here's the wrap at midnight on day 4-

Batch 1 saw Trevor and Ugene push through Allendale and launch into the Donnybrook maneuver - taking 8 hours to find their way through the forests on a section that normally takes about 4. They arrived at Centocow after midnight. The next day saw their charge through SS2 at Ntsikeni and on to Masakala (SS 3) curtailed when Trevor's freewheel started to play up - they limped into Banchory near midnight and the following day limped on to Masakala where the rest of their start batch joined them. Day 4 saw them make another move - however they were frustrated by snow and cold. Despite this they pushed through support station 4 at Malekhalonyane and went on through Black Fountain. Approaching midnight they have just reached Tinana Mission - effectively giving them a half day lead after four hellish days of riding.

Gawie continues to fly through the day but sleeps well at night. Ray and Scott also seem to be sticking with the programme and saving any moves for later.

Batch 2 has not seen any major moves although Paddy seemed content to drift backwards taking three days to Ntsikeni where he has now been swallowed up by Batch 3 and will probably ride on with Quenton and Blackie. Brendan Hayden made an earnest effort to fall back when he spent the early part of Tuesday evening scratching around on the Umzimvubu single track but managed to get into Masakala before midnight. An "easy" day through to Malekhalonyane should help him regroup and pick up with Dave Bell and Chris Morris.

Batch 3 saw the De Decker brothers flying off the front -in and out of Allendale by 2.30pm, through Donnybrook by 4.30 and 8 kms away from Centocow by 6.30 but then a sense of de je veux crept in as they too struggled to find the route throuh . The last 30 minutes of riding took them well over an hour. Nonetheless a good day. However, they were slow starting the next morning, and then were slowed further by the snow and freezing temperatures on Ntsikeni. Although any plan of Masakala by the end of the day soon disappeared they made good progress and left the reserve before nightfall - and then the fun started. They spent 5 hours negotiating their way in darkness through 1 kilometre of Politique as they literally went around in circles. After midnight and they have still not made Banchory. Now their dilemna is whether to push through SS3 at Masakala and head for Malekhalonyane. If so they will no doubt be riding the Mpharane ridgeline at night - more fun for those following them on the trackers.

Batch 4 saw another flying start - this time from adventurer Alex Harris. Although slower than the De Deckers in getting to Allendale he had a clean run through the Donnybrook forests and arrived at Centocow in the early evening. Perhaps he is eyeing Masakala for tomorrow night. Despite a slow start Australians Tim and Bec and Audrey all made it through to Allendale arriving shortly after dark, whilst Giant single speed Glenn got in earlier. Despite stopping for the night he confessed to be contemplating a midnight departure - another Donnybrook maneuver in the offing? It wont be the first time.

So let's see what tomorrow brings

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