So, the Springboks narrowly beat the Wales Dragons 32 to 29. As most who watched the game will agree, South Africa was lucky to win, what can only be described as an ugly ill-disciplined game by both sides. The referee probably could have applied the rules more aggressively early on. That would have avoided the verbal and physical back chatting and thuggery that transpired in the game. One thing he (the Ref) can’t be accused of is inconsistent rule application. He was fair and consistent in the application of the rules.
Rules – as most know, we have rules in the Freedom Challenge as well. Like it or not, it makes the trail what it is and gives the race/ tour its meaning. I won’t go into the list of dos and don’ts. You have a finger, go, and click… What I do want to cover is the parallel of Nika Amashukeli’s consistent application in the Springbok vs Wales game. Even if we do not like his application of the rules, at least he applied it with no emotion or influence by a whining Wales captain (that kept whinny for 84 minutes…) We need rules and we need to know what they are before we run/ ride onto the field. Then if we find ourselves on the wrong side of these rules, we need to accept the application of the yellow or red card with respect to the referee. Before you enter the Freedom (and I know you want to) go and review the rules, compulsory equipment list and race manual, it is there to make your trail tour a fair match.
I must be honest that I would not miss a cycle in the rain for a Rugby match, but I have skipped a planned flip in the mountains because of a “lekker” glass of Red Wine. If you are a reader of my Freedom Satire, you know by now that I am a junky for spending time on the trail. My inner circle, no actually all circles, also know I love Red Wine, ja I love Red Wine a lot. But even though I might seem like a commoner from Brackenfell I do prefer good Red Wine. A well-aged Vino does find my pallet well. Riding the Freedom Trail is not unlike a bottle of Vino, the longer you spend waiting to pop the Freedom Challenge cork in Diemersfontein, the softer and smoother the content of that aged produce is on your being.
Peter Roux is all on his own in Kudu Kaya, Pierre (Buffel Herder Bravo) is treating him with a “Skaap Tjop en Dop”. I spoke to old Pete yesterday evening to make sure he closes the gates all the snakes left open. He admitted and I quote “…riding on your own as a sweeper is baie poef (Censored)”. He should for the first time since Rhodes see other trailers by Monday night I would think. He must be a contender for the stone saddle, as he has probably endured more than most on the trail by now.
Damsedrif will host Andreas and Nienke, John Barrow, Gerald Holland, Andrew Setzkom, Paul Arnott and Michael Patchitt. They had an easy day from Kudu Kaya.
Brad, Nicky, Chris, Francis and Janine are resting at the lovely Willows Historical Guesthouse in Willowmore. They have seen Enslin Uys pull a handbrake turn in the “Hoofstraat” in Willowmore, after some pretty hard-core stages, to make the 1 o’clock gate at the northern entrance to the Baviaans reserve. Apparently, the operation to separate the Bruce Lin Twins was not as successful, leaving Bruce to pursue a solo career. Bruce is on his way to Rondawel, yet it seems as if the anesthetic has worn off and he is moving like a man asleep on his bike… seems like Rowan Matthew might still be a favorite to pip him on the line.
Talking of lines, Mark Basel has rolled into Diemersfontein as the first finisher of the Winter event. Superb ride Mark and don your Blanket with pride. Charl van der Spuy left Trouthaven and took on Stettynskloof just behind Mark to be the first person in for the Race to Paarl.
The rest of the RTP crowd will be taking on Stettyns tomorrow after watching the Rugby on a big screen in Trouthaven early this evening. I bet they will be joined in Diemersfontein by Omphile, Ingrid, Paul Moxley, (from the band formally known as JIOP), Adriaan Giessing and Grant Hill as they are in McGregor tonight and will surely make the leap. Jeremy Steere stopped in Montagu to serve a 6 hour penalty for not reading the rules properly regarding outside support. Not sure what Ray Shepton’s plans are’, but he might be tempted to also “maak klaar” as the second last RTP competitor.
Rowan (and suddenly I am the leader) Matthews has arrived in Anysberg early today and will have to leave (as he did thus far) earlier than normal to keep his dreams alive. Bruce Biccard will be coming at him hard.
We have the Dennys (3), and Bells (2) in the dormitory at Rouxpos this evening. They will be joined by Becky Sand and Grant Cowen and the Payne Brothers later tonight.
Justin Bark is once again the lone ranger by this time in Gamkaskloof.
The Rutherfords, Jason Wesson and Gawie Single Speed are in Prince Albert this evening and with the rainstorm here will have their work cut out up and over Swartbergpass to Gamkaskloof “Die Hel” tomorrow morning.
Much like the Springboks and Wales Rugby coaching teams will spend some soul searching this coming week, on what they will do to beat the other team more convincingly or just at all. You too need to go and pour yourself a glass of wine and contemplate on how you are going to get sport pass form your loved ones, 3 weeks leave form your work and the ability to watch Tour ‘d France, The British Grand Prix, and Freedom Challenge without burning the tjops…