All set for Le­sotho Sky bike race

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Moorosi Tsiane

SKY Events founder Christian Sch­midt says ev­ery­thing is in place for the sixth an­nual 392 kilo­me­tre Le­sotho Sky Moun­tain Bike Race to be held over six days from 19 to 24 Septem­ber 2016.

He said on the first day, cy­clists would fol­low the Ram­a­banta to Malealea route, on to the Malealea loop on day two and then head to Roma on the third. There­after it would be Roma to Ram­a­banta (fourth day), Ram­a­banta loop (on the fifth day) be­fore the race ends in Se­monkong.

“All is in place for the race and we are happy it has been grow­ing an­nu­ally from 22 par­tic­i­pants to 100 this year,” Sch­midt said dur­ing a me­dia brief­ing at Avani Maseru this week.

“This is one of the top races on the con­ti­nent and it is a Union of Cy­cling In­ter­na­tional (UCI) Class 1 event with in­ter­na­tional points for world rank­ings. Le­sotho is ranked 33rd in the world and sec­ond in Africa be­hind South Africa, with Namibia in third po­si­tion.

“For the first time, we will have a Mosotho fe­male rider Likeleli Ma­sitise who will part­ner a Motswana Bakang Ebudilwe in the fe­male cat­e­gory. We also have cy­clists from South Africa, Switzer­land, Ger­many, Nor­way, Uganda, Aus­tralia, France, United States of Amer­ica and Botswana.”

He also re­vealed telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions gi­ant, Vo­da­com Le­sotho, had in­jected M250 000, mak­ing them the main spon­sor of the race.

“Al­liance In­sur­ance have been our main spon­sor for the past five years, but this year we also have Vo­da­com Le­sotho on board who have in­jected M250 000 that has been used for lo­gis­tics.”

Sch­midt said Le­sotho would be rep­re­sented by 11 cy­clists in the race, with eight of them from the ACE Moun­tain Bike team.

At the same event, Al­liance Sales and Mar­ket­ing Man­ager Maki Mokobo­cho said they were proud to be as­so­ci­ated with the sport which had been grow­ing in the coun­try over the years.

“We are so proud to have been there since day one and happy we gave them the chance to grow cy­cling in the coun­try in which we are now ranked num­ber two in Africa. It is such a great achieve­ment for the coun­try,” she said.

Mokobo­cho also urged the Le­sotho Sport and Re­cre­ation Com­mis­sion (LSRC) to ren­der more sup­port to sport­ing dis­ci­plines that stood bet­ter chances of bring­ing home medals at ma­jor in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tions.

“For a long time, LSRC and its stake­hold­ers have been in­vest­ing so much in sport­ing codes that have been strug­gling to win any medals for this coun­try in big com­pe­ti­tions. I would like to urge them to re­think and fo­cus on those that stand bet­ter chances,” she said, calling on more com­pa­nies to in­vest in sport.

“Cy­cling is the best ranked dis­ci­pline in this coun­try and that means they just need more sup­port to pros­per. We are grate­ful for the sup­port ex­tended by Vo­da­com Le­sotho and hope­fully more com­pa­nies will fol­low suit.”

ace team cy­clists on tues­day dur­ing the sixth Le­sotho Sky race launch at avani Maseru.

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