Wednesday 12th & Thursday 13th December: Tracks closed. The rain up here in the hills keeps coming.

Day 1: Birch in 4th

Roof of Africa

maddix park mx

Courtesy of Monster Energy

This years Roof of Africa started off with an unfamiliar pitch of screaming engines and smoking tires as Monster Energy's National Drift Champion Jason Webb got the crowds fired up for the start of the "Round the Houses". His Royal Highness ..... the King of Lesotho got things under way in the first race of the day, but it was heat 2 of the Gold Class that was the race to watch as Altus De Wet charged off the front of the field, letting his intentions be known for the rest of the day. While not all the favorites decided to contest ceremonial start, De Wet was to pushed hard by New Zealands's Chris Birch, who was also keen to stamp his authority on this years race.

After "Round the Houses" the riders moved to the top of Bushman's Pass for the Time Trial and the first real racing stage. It was once again Altus De Wet (Husqvarna) who crossed in the number 1 spot. With less than a minute separating the top 5 riders, this years Mother of Hard Enduro is looking set to be an epic battle.

Tonight's leader board holds all 3 names from the 2012 podium, with De Wet's Husqvarna team-mate, Graham Garvis just 13 seconds back, while reigning champion, Wade Young sits in 3rd spot, 48 seconds off the pace. Young's KTM team mate, Chris Birch will start tomorrows stage in 4th position just 6 seconds behind the young South African.

Kenny Gilbert (Yamaha) rounds out the top 5 and will have a front row seat watching the battle between the KTM duo. Just 3 seconds adrift of Birch, he will be looking to follow and learn from the 3 time winner. 

Blake and Jade Gudzeit (Sherco/Monster Energy), look to be hatching a plan and rode the Time Trial as a team, finishing in 8th and 9th positions. Tomorrow will tell whether Jade is finally handing the reigns to his younger brother or whether his fortitude will see him burying himself to try and reclaim his former glory. 

After a sweltering day of temperatures in the mid 30's, the forecast for Friday and Saturday is predicting rain and in Lesotho that means the things are going to get a whole lot tougher.

Things kick off tomorrow morning at 6 am with riders leaving in real time after today's time trial results. 

Comment from Clive Strugnell  (http://www.dirtandtrail.co.za/

The Roof is amazing! Seldom have we seen so many potential contenders for the top spot and if the time trials are anything to go by, the next two days of racing are going to be epic!! We have not seen a single rider taking it easy, everyone has their race face on!! The usual suspects like Jarvis, Birch and co are wowwing the crowds, but the SAFFERS are looking in top form. And there are a few surprises over the 45km time trial. Fastest so far Huskys Altus de Wet (1 hour 28 mins 55 secs), Jarvis is 13 seconds behind, then Wade Young - 35 secs behind Altus on his Hybrid Katoom. NZ's own Chris Birch is keeping a low profile - but man is he flowing beautifully. Yamaha's Kenny Gilbert is FLYING and we watched him ramp OVER a guy who fell in front of him... very spectacular. Travis Teasdale - what can we say, fantastic young man - 6th fastest and looking very cool. Another youngster Scotty Bouverri is next then Sherco's Blake Gutzeid, followed by his brother Jade. we warned you NEVER to discount this rider. Liquorlands James Hodgson wheelied the whole way around the houses and put in a solid tenth place in time trials. So thats it, the Japanese Yamaha Riders are looking a little shell shocked, but they are doing well. The Hemmingway bro's are looking cool. Spare a thought for the bronze riders who are still out there with the rain threatening to come down... it will cool things off a bit (30 degrees plus), but serious rain will work in Jarvis' favour... Toni Jardine lady rider in silver - 2 hours 17 mins in the rocks. we have chatted to many of the riders in all classes and the general consensus is, hard, lekker, well marked, well organised. Two more fantastic days to go. But - Half of The Roof is about the spectators... the vibe is AMAZING! Lesotho is the place to be!

 
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