Expedition Africa 2022 - Lesotho
Leg 3 MTB
TA2 to CPx: We made an incorrect route choice from the start and descended significantly on road before having to make the same height in ascent again. There was a shorter route which also had negligible height gain. Team Nordisk (who finished the race in third place overall) passed us on this early stage. Lost 15min here by comparison of times.
We caught up Team Nordisk before the first ferry crossing (CP8?) as they had a puncture. The heavens opened at this point and the boat ferryman had to empty his boat of water prior to taking us across!
We subsequently lost 30mins to Team Nordisk shortly afterwards in the village of Patlong. We stopped in a small village for team members to warm up and get more clothes on. I asked the locals for directions and they pointed me in a direction to access to the main road. We followed this track but it ended up being very slow and narrow. Team Nordisk took the fastest way out. I wished I had trusted my gut in that village and headed out the way I thought was right (i.e. not listen to the locals who were communicating to me in Lesotho language and hand gestures!)
Team Nordisk were ~10mins ahead of us at the second ferry crossing.
Their lead on us increased to 35mins shortly afterwards when we went up the wrong track and were convinced we were on the right track. However the locals corrected us by telling us to go back down the track and continue up and over the ridge. If I'd only looked at the land profile in more detail, I'd have noticed this! Arrghhh. The children on Ian's brilliant YouTube video were clearly trying to tell us this!
After 80km (~10hrs) into the leg, we crossed the Orange River after a huge descent and found a building beside the road to sleep in. Before we stopped, we were 45minutes behind Team Nordisk. We stopped for 2hr 40m and slept for the vast majority of this. This was approx 1840-2120. This put us 3hr 8mins behind Nordisk at the next available comparative time stamp. I wasn't particularly sleepy but I think Ian and Phil were.
At 231km, we crossed the Orange River again (on bridge) and we were 3hr 21m behind Nordisk at this point. By the end of the leg (~240km), we were 3hr 38m behind Team Nordisk. This was on the entrance to the town of Thaba-Tseka.
From the results, Nordisk finished the bike leg at 1606 on Tuesday whilst we finished at 1941.
It looks like both teams took the same route but Team Nordisk did not appear to have slept.
From the table below, we were the sixth fastest team on this leg (from the top 7):
|Race finish position||Team#||Team name||Race finish time||TA2 - exit time to Leg 3 MTB||Leg 3 time||TA3 - entry time from Leg 3 MTB|
|1||30||ESTONIAN ACE ADVENTURE / LA SPORTIVA||80:15||Mon 5:11||25:25||Tue 6:36|
|2||7||400TEAM NATUREX||84:45||Mon 5:14||26:42||Tue 7:56|
|3||32||NORDISK||100:15||Mon 10:34||29:32||Tue 16:06|
|4||35||SEIKLUSHUNT-HONEYPOWER||104:45||Mon 10:28||30:31||Tue 12:38|
|5||12||MERRELL||105:10||Mon 12:55||32:21||Tue 21:16|
|5||36||ENDURANCELIFE UK||105:10||Mon 10:28||33:13||Tue 19:41|
|7||24||UK ADVENTURERS||111:55||Mon 11:55||34:00||Tue 21:55|