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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tour d'Afrique riders head for Sudan

I received the following email a couple days ago...

Hi there Charles!

I hope this finds you well!

Quick note to let you know that the Tour d'Afrique bicycle race from Cairo to Cape Town is underway.

The riders have just finished the 1,000 km stretch in Egypt and are in Aswan today, getting ready to board the ferry for Sudan.

I've attached two photos from Tour d'Afrique rider, Kristian Pletten... as well as an update from Cristiano Wernick, our Communications Manager on the tour.

Thanks for any support you may be able to afford the tour over the next 15 weeks.

Regards and thanks
Theresa


Theresa Brown
Tour d'Afrique
Tel: +27 (0) 44 389 0007
Cell: +27 (0) 84 353 1975
theresa@tourdafrique.com
www.tourdafrique.com

THE FIRST 1000 KM

Aswan, Egypt. January 23, 2011 – Cycling through the desert, on roads along the Red
Sea, past rocky mountains and alongside the green pastures of the Nile River, the first few days on Tour d’Afrique rewarded the riders with beautiful and distinct landscape vistas. In Aswan today, the riders are preparing for the long ferry ride across Lake Nasser into Sudan.

The first rest day of the tour happened in Luxor, after 6 stages (766 km), and some of the participants used the time to see the Karnak temple, the Valley of the Kings and other attractions, while others updated their blogs, chatted with families and friends back home and went over their equipment and strategies for the next stages of the race. Each day brings new challenges, such as strong headwinds, unexpected hills, tents collapsed by strong winds and sand storms as well as the social dynamic of living with a big group under harsh conditions.

Those who are racing have agreed on a strategy and ride most of the day in a big
peloton, taking turns at leading and leaving the competition to the sprints over the last few kilometers of each day´s stage. North American Paul Wolfe, who is leading the men´s competition, has trained hard for over a year and pushes himself and the rest of the group really hard. The Egyptian racers, Ahmed, Mohamed and Sharif have also trained all year round for this race, and since they’re only racing the 9-day stretch in Egypt, they’ve been giving the other racers a solid, hard time.

While the racers compete and plan their long-term strategies, other riders prefer to
experience Africa at a slower and more relaxed pace. Canadian father and son, Paul and Matthew Paridaen, decided to ride their bikes together all the way from Cairo to Khartoum in order to spend some quality time together.

Most of the riders up until now have been able to keep their EFI (Every Fabulous Inch) status, but with the many challenges ahead of them, not least of all the mountains of Ethiopia and the lava rock roads in northern Kenya, it will be those who possess the strongest will to endure who will make it through to Cape Town and earn themselves the distinction of having cycled every inch of the way.

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