Roof of Africa 2013 Alex Fernandez at the start

Roof of Africa 2013

Posted by on Nov 19, 2013 in Sports and lifestyle
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On Saturday, day 2 of the hard riding stages, we followed scores of 4×4’s traversing the Maluti mountains in an attempt to get to viewpoints 2 and 3. Eventually we were turned back by retiring 4×4’s, the drivers reporting that bottlenecks and “stuck” 4×4’s were preventing access. The mud, brought on by the torrential rains, stopped play for us and many riders.

Hard Enduro in Lesotho
Roof of Africa 2013

Silver class rider 169 in the driving rain, day 2 Roof of Africa

If it was rough and tough for us, it could only have been nigh impossible for the riders out there. Made worse, I guess, by the energy-sapping, bike-wrecking similar conditions of the previous day. The rain and mist conspiring against the riders and support crews.

Roof of Africa 2013

Silver class competitor number 311 on day 2 at the Roof of Africa

But that’s “hard enduro” for you – designed to test man and machine by pushing both to the limits. The noble goal of participating was made redundant under the conditions of this 2013 edition of the Roof of Africa. Just finishing was everything this year.

Roof of Africa 2013

Silver class competitor number 212 in the driving rain, day 2 at the Roof of Africa

On the day of the time trial, the weather was superb – blue skies and skin-burning sunny conditions. The trail, while dusty, suited the riders and made for leisurely photography. All that was to change the following day when the rain came pouring down. King Letsie III of Lesotho would have been grateful for the rains as he believes the Roof of Africa event brings much needed rain to his mountain kingdom … and the rain arrived on cue just as the big stages started.

Roof of Africa 2013

Roof of Africa 2013: bronze class competitor number 406 beginning the stage on day 1

While it was more than tough for the riders, the inclement weather made for more interesting photography. Mud, rain, slippery rocks and misty conditions added drama to the images, even if it made photography difficult.

Roof of Africa 2013

Gold class competitor number 43 spraying through the mud-puddle, day 1 at the Roof of Africa

Yet despite all the hardship the riders, support crew and spectators kept up their enthusiasm and interest with many spectators sitting for 5 or more hours in the rain to watch the finish at Bushman’s neck. Hats-off to everyone who contributed to this event in whatever manner they did. Bring on the 2014 edition.

Ben Hemingway, Roof of Africa 2013

Ben Hemmingway, day 1 at the Roof of Africa

Roof of Africa 2013

A silver class competitor skirts the mud-puddle, day 1 at the Roof of Africa

Roof of Africa 2013

Silver class competitor number 270 on the downhill at the end of the time trial

Roof of Africa 2013

Silver class competitor number 200 on the downhill at the end of the time trial

Roof of Africa 2013

Pulling a wheelie on the home straight

Roof of Africa 2013

Gold class competitor number 22 on the home straight

 

Roof of Africa 2013

Silver class competitor number 326 on a muddy trail on day 2 of the Roof of Africa

For more images from the Roof, visit my gallery.  High resolution copies of the photographs in this blog and in the gallery are available at a cost of R100 each. Please e-mail me at editor@cormacmccreesh.com should you want to buy any. All photographs are copyright protected and may not be used, copied or downloaded without my prior consent or permission.

Useful links:

A short history on the Roof of Africa

The Roof of Africa on Facebook

Roof of Africa Twitter Feed

 

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