Top rid­ers head­line Roof of Africa

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

BRI­TISH rider Gra­ham Jarvis will head­line a group of top rid­ers at the 2016 edi­tion of Roof Africa off-road mo­tor­cy­cle race which gets un­der­way next week on Thurs­day.

Le­sotho Off-road As­so­ci­a­tion (LORA) pub­lic re­la­tions of­fi­cer, Kekeletso Malebo said all was in place for one of the world’s tough­est mo­tor races with the route al­ready “marked and we are just putting fi­nal touches to ev­ery­thing.”

“There are top rid­ers who will be com­pet­ing in this race for the very first time so it shows that we are mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion as far as growth is con­cerned,” Malebo said.

He said the race fol­lowed an ex­tremely chal­leng­ing course through rugged ter­rain, hence its en­dur­ing pop­u­lar­ity with in­ter­na­tional rid­ers from Europe and other parts of the world who will be aim­ing to wrest the ti­tle from Jarvis.

“Jarvis re­mains the main man hav­ing won this race for a num­ber of years, but he faces tough com­pe­ti­tion from top rid­ers in­clud­ing one from Spain,” Malebo said.

“Wade Young who made his­tory in 2012 as the youngest win­ner of the race at the age of 16 is an­other rider set to pro­vide fierce com­pe­ti­tion.

“We will also give the pub­lic and the me­dia the plat­form to in­ter­act with all the rid­ers on Wed­nes­day at Pi­o­neer Mall.”

He said the “only sad part” was that only one lo­cal rider, Joseph Mo­te­nane, would par­tic­i­pate in this year’s edi­tion- a sig­nif­i­cant de­cline given the fact that last year’s event at­tracted six lo­cal rid­ers.

Malebo said the event was more than just a race as it boosted tourism by at­tract­ing visi­tors to the coun­try and thus con­trib­uted to eco­nomic growth.

“There is a lot that this coun­try will get from tourists that are usu­ally in the coun­try for the whole week of the race as some will ar­rive this week­end.

“They spend a lot on ac­com­mo­da­tion, fuel and many other things.

“The race will also be broad­cast in Europe which means that more peo­ple will get to know about our coun­try and its tourist at­trac­tions,” he said.

The Round the House will kick start the event on Thurs­day and spec­ta­tors will be treated to eight races of three laps each start­ing at Maseru club.

The hard en­duro races will be held on Fri­day and Satur­day. They will start and fin­ish at the Bush­man Pass (Lekha­long la Baroa).

2011 Roof of Africa win­ner Gra­ham Jarvis.

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