Tag Archives: Chris Birch

Raising ‘The Roof’!

What a WILD few days – The Roof of Africa 2010, which concluded on Saturday in Lesotho. Fittingly tough for “The Mother of Hardenduro”, it took no prisoners, conceding twenty-two gold medal finishers from a field of about two hundred and fifty. Twenty-four riders earned silver medals and a mere six took home the bronzes. Phenomenal achievements all! The war stories brought tears to the eyes and huge respect to the heart. This event that traverses the massive Maluti mountains, is not for sissies! Unfortunately, after a solid start, Dave’s race ended in a DNF when his motor blew halfway through Friday’s gruelling stint. Here are a few photo’s that tell a snippet of our story:


Team Ysterperd’s opening pit talk – Roof of Africa 2010


Bike Prep – Roof of Africa 2010


DAVE racing ‘around the houses’ on Thursday – Roof of Africa 2010


Parked in Friday’s boggy pits – Roof of Africa 2010


DAVE’s bike in Friday’s starting queue – Roof of Africa 2010


DAVE pulling off on Friday – Roof of Africa 2010


Team Ysterperd pit crew doing their thing – Roof of Africa 2010


Team Ysterperd pit crew at another DSP – Roof of Africa 2010


DAVE in good humour at the end of his race – Roof of Africa 2010


Ramabanta DSP – Roof of Africa 2010


Chilling at Ramabanta DSP – Roof of Africa 2010


Photographing on the dreaded Bushman’s pass – Roof of Africa 2010


Another view of Bushman’s pass – Roof of Africa 2010


Rider’s view of the finish line – Roof of Africa 2010

All in all, this year’s ‘Roof’ raised the bar. It was way better organized and more spectator-friendly than last year’s, drawing crowds of fans and some top international competitors. These were headed up by New Zealander Chris Birch, who won spectacularly for the third time in a row, followed by South Africa’s own Jade Gutzeit and Germany’s Andreas Lettenbichler, ‘Lettie’ for short. Here they are at the Red Bull finish line:


CHRIS BIRCH at the finish line – Roof of Africa 2010


CHRIS BIRCH’s smile after winning the Roof of Africa 2010


Jade Gutzeit at the finish line – Roof of Africa 2010


JADE GUTZEIT with his wife Rina after the Roof of Africa 2010


LETTIE tossing his bike – Roof of Africa 2010


LETTIE punching the air – Roof of Africa 2010


LETTIE after finishing The Roof of Africa 2010


Champagne on the podium – Roof of Africa 2010

To read more about all the guts and glory, visit: www.roof-of-africa.com, and for loads more photo’s, here’s a link to Dave’s Facebook album: Roof of Africa 2010.

Sincere THANKS to all our friends who helped us tremendously, huge CONGRATS to the winners and WELL DONE to everyone who took part! One thing’s for sure: our deposit will be paid the moment booking opens for next year.

Now, just in case you’re thinking the event is all about the riders, this video explains a whole lot more: Continue reading

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Remembering “The Roof”!

Dave and I had the extreme pleasure and adventure of attending “The Roof of Africa” Enduro race in Lesotho two weeks ago. We were both spectating, but only because he broke his jaw a fortnight before on a training ride (which I’m happy to say is healing extremely well :-)). He was most disappointed, also on behalf of his sponsors, Proaction / KTM.

Here’s a pic of the team, hard at work on race prep, with the Lesotho Sun hotel in the background:

. . . and another of the car-park, from the top of the hotel, which was one of the two main venues where the riders’ support was set up:

Pity about Dave’s accident, but it was possibly for the best, since the event was reportedly off-the-scale insane this year, with many riders forced to sleep in the mountains, including a mate of Dave’s who spent the night in a shepherd’s hut. Only a handful finished (after route adjustments), from a starting field of around 220. On corrected times, South Africa’s Jade Gutzeit came in third, behind two New Zealanders: Rory Mead and Chris Birch (winner for the second year running). Awesome ride, guys!!! Andreas Lettenbichler from Germany was going exceptionally well too, before his bike broke down a few km’s from the end.

This was the international contingent at riders’ briefing, including 1 lady!

Termed “The Mountain Kingdom” in honour of the MAGNIFICENT Maluti mountains, Lesotho is spectacularly beautiful. We got to see plenty, guided by our friends Sonja & Tom Classen (of Dakar fame – the second South African biker ever to finish that rally, twice!!). Despite Dave’s broken jaw and liquid diet, he and Tom did about 12 hours of hectic riding over the course of the weekend, even helping the finishers over the final mountain pass, which was WILD. Sonja and I watched from another peak, hardly believing our eyes where they were man-handling their motorbikes! They lifted Tom’s good friend Uli Pop (hardcore rider and route marker) and one of the cameramen from Throttle Entertainment, who was in search of (and found) some intense action footage. Keep a lookout for their DVD which should be out soon and will no doubt be mind-blowing!

This map shows the Time Trial Route on Day 1 – NOT for the faint-hearted:

For a better idea of what the competitors were up against, check out this YouTube video:
Continue reading

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