Moto Media
James Stewart

Update:. Chris Birch wins his third Roof of Africa.

Preliminary Top 10 Racing Overall (still no liability assumed): 

1. Birch, 18:25,24
2. Gutzeit, 18:43,34
3. Lettenbichler, 19:05,57
4. Bolton, 19:12,56
5. Stone, 19:29,34
6. Badenhorst, 19:53,22
7. Curtis, 19:41,52
8. Seydoux, 20:18,10
9. De Wet, 20:29,05
10. Skinner, 21:04,58

The large crowd greet provisional winner Chris Birch.


And then No. 170 finished - Adrian Werner on the Yamaha.

Well done to the 17 year old Scott Bouverie (Yamaha) who got gold for finishing the full race distance. He finished just before Michael Skinner (NZ) who completed his first Roof of Africa.

A very tired Altus de Wet just arrived at the Finish.

Lionel Seydoux has just crossed the Finish line on the top of Bushmans Pass. No news on Kirssi - Altus de Wetapparently still on his way.

Darryl Curtis at the finish!!

Keep in mind: final results might look different as the times of all three racing sections will be combined - except for the Top 10, the rest of the riders did not start on corrected times.

Paul Bolton 4th at his first Roof of Africa. Craig Stone 5th and Wyand Badenhorst 6th.

Birch arrived first at the finish to claim his third Roof of Africa. Jade Gutzeit finished second and Andreas Lettenbichler (Letti) third. 

According to initial reports, Jade is about 22mins behind Birch with about 30mins to go before the end.

Good to see another former Roof of Africa winner, Clayton Enslin, in the pits assisting Kenny Gilbert who is visiting his home country (South Africa) from the USA where he is competing in the GNCC. 

Our man in the field is at the bottom of Belokomo Pass- Gutzeit and Birch are still glued together with Letti still about 10mins adrift. They are now heading to Please Push Me pass (and by the name of this pass, it might be quite steep...)

Also in at DSP: new Zealand youngster, Michael Skinner; veteren racer Gerhard Forster (BMW G450X); SA Supermoto champ Capper; Dalton and William 'Wild Will' Gillit.

[CORRECTION] Birch first through Bushmans DSP (decontrol) followed very closely by Gutzeit. Then Curtis, Kirssi and Seydoux, Stone, Paul Bolton, Wyand Badenhorst and De Wet all close together.

It might be his first time but Finnish rider Simo Kirssi (factory Husqvarna) is still on track - about 6min behind Curtis at the moment.

Former Roof of Africa winner and extreme enduro specialist, Darryl Curtis is currently 10min behind Letti- and still looking good.

Letti (Team Husqvarna SA) passes through- about 11 minutes behind the two leaders.

Road crossing after extremely technical section: Gutzeit leading Birch - they passed us on an uphill with Birch onGutzeit's rear wheel... both still looking good.

News from our man on the most difficult part of the route: Birch and Gutzeit still close together about 5 minutes ahead of Letti who has made up even more time on them. Curtis is not too far behind with Simo Kirssi behind him.

Also through at the DSP: Skinner, Badenhorst, Craig Stone, Gerhard Forster, Capper and Dalton.

Riaan van Niekerk has withdrawn due to medical reasons.

Marc Torlage started third this morning but had to call it quits at the Bronze Finish. He has burst 2 toes yesterday...

Altus de Wet through...

Lionel Seydoux started fourth this morning but has lost some time -- he is still going through.

About 20 minutes behind Birch and Gutzet at DSP 2 - Letti made up time and positions; followed by Curtis andPaul Bolton.

DSP 2: BIrch made up good time after "drowning" his bike just after start. He now leads a charging Gutzeit by seconds.

Positions at Seamus's Slide:
1. 2
2. 1
3. 3
4. LS
5. AL
6. PB 
7. 13
8. 18
10. 21
11. 96
12. 16
14. 22

With only 3 seconds separating Gutzeit and Birch - Lionel Seydoux posting the fastest time yesterday and Lettilosing 30 minutes getting lost and still finishing only 20 odd minutes behind the leaders, its going to be an interesting day!

Good morning on this crisp, clear day in the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho where a few early morning clouds greet the 54 riders who have completed the full race distance yesterday


Initial Respectfully called 'The Mother of Hardenduro' the 2010 Baboons Lesotho Sun Roof of Africa, one of the world's toughest extreme enduro motorbike races, kicks into action today in the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho. Good luck to Kiwi Chris Birch who will be defending his double title. 

Under the watchful eyes of the organisers, Adventure Lesotho; the German company Baboons Innovative Offroad Solutions and sponsors spearheaded by Lesotho Sun, the routes have now been marked; the local communities are informed and are excited about the race; the border posts are expecting the influx of visitors and the winning trophy is polished!

Competitors, sponsors and enthusiasts are keeping up to date with the weather forecast as this can play a big role in the outcome of the race. According to predictions some rain is expected over the weekend especially tonight and Friday night (about 6mm rain is expected) while heavier rain can be expected on Saturday night (21mm).

It is expected that the maximum temperatures will reach about 23˚C during the weekend. This will be welcome after the heat experienced during the race last year. It has been raining in the area and according to the Race Director, Seamus McCarthy, the routes have changed character and will definitely prove to be very challenging.

"Route marking during the last week has illustrated that the trails, tracks and paths have been affected by the rains, effectively redefining the characteristics of the route and this will be very exciting,” McCarthy said. "If, however, we do receive more heavy rains, we have all the necessary precautions in place and decisions will be made accordingly,” he stated.

Various international competitors are already in South Africa to acclimatise to the summer conditions. The five time and current New Zealand enduro champion and double winner of the Baboons Lesotho Sun Roof of Africa, Chris Birch (Brother Broadlink KTM) explained in an interview by his sponsors (Red Bull) that this event is really tough and that the trails are brutal.

"For the first day’s racing last year, they had us riding over rocks for 10 and a half hours straight. You can’t help but feel beaten up at the end of that. Again, though the whole thing is pure adventure and Lesotho is such an amazing country and you see so much wild stuff during the race,” he commented.

Birch visited South Africa some two months ago when he competed in a round of the national enduro championship – and won. He also presented lessons in training and riding and attended the annual KTM Festival at Sun City.

It will be a first attempt for the UK’s Paul Bolton who will be Birch’s team-mate for this event. The UK is currently in its winter season with temperatures reaching highs of about 10˚C on average and Bolton will definitely leave Africa with a tan after visiting South Africa and Lesotho. The same will go for the European visitors who can get rid of their thermal clothing and start using sunscreen!

The South African racers cannot be left out of the picture and riders like former winners Jade Gutzeit (Full Throttle Yamaha) and Darryl Curtis (Brother Broadlink KTM) would hope to put their years of racing experience in the Lesotho mountains to good use in an attempt to keep the trophy in Africa.

The 2010 Baboons Lesotho Sun Roof of Africa will start with the Round the Houses street race today at 09:00 local time in Maseru and afterwards competitors will ride their motorcycles through town to the outskirts where they will tackle Racing Section 1 (114km). Racing Sections 2 and 3 will start on Friday (26th November) and Saturday (27th November) at 06h00 outside Roma.

Last minute preparations.  Photo courtesy of Chris Birch