Roof roars into Life

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

SOME of the world’s top bik­ers are in town as part of the star at­trac­tions of the 2016 edi­tion of the Roof of Africa off-road mo­tor­cy­cle race which gets un­der­way to­day at Maseru Club.

Le­sotho Off-road As­so­ci­a­tion (LORA) public re­la­tions of­fi­cer, Kekeletso Malebo said most of the riders ar­rived in the coun­try over the week­end and yes­ter­day they com­pleted their regis­tra­tion as well as in­ter­views with the local me­dia.

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

“Ev­ery­thing is in place for the race and as usual, we ex­pect a very com­pet­i­tive bat­tle es­pe­cially among the pre­vi­ous win­ners and some of the new riders,” Malebo said.

The hard en­duro races will fol­low on Fri­day and these will start and fin­ish at the Bush­man pass at Lekha­long la Baroa.

Dubbed the world’s tough­est off-road mo­tor­cy­cle race due to its route through Le­sotho’s rugged ter­rain, the Roof of Africa be­gins with bik­ers rac­ing around the city’s sub­urbs be­fore in­vad­ing the coun­try­side for four days of tough rid­ing.

“There are a lot of riders who will take part in the race in­clud­ing those do­ing so for the first time like one who is the cham­pion of Spain,” Malebo said, adding un­like in pre­vi­ous years, this time Le­sotho has only one rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Joseph Mo­te­nane.

Malebo also said they had re­ceived in­for­ma­tion from the camp of 2014 win­ner, Wade Young, that the South African who be­came the youngest win­ner at 16 years, might not take part in the race.

He how­ever called on the youth “to come in large numbers to see what pro­fes­sion­als can do with a bike”.

He said the event was not only ex­cit­ing for the riders and cycling en­thu­si­asts but it was also “good for tourism in our coun­try”.

Bri­tish rider Jarvis Gra­ham won the 2015 event.

FROM left: Jade Gutzeit, Gra­ham Jarvis and Chris Birch - Roof of africa 2011.

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