THE Federation of Cycling Lesotho (FCL) has named the team that will represent the country in the upcoming African Road Bike Championships in Mauritius from 23 to 29 March this year.
The team is made up of Phetetso Monese, Pitso Pule, Kabelo Makatile, Teboho Khantši, Malefetsane Lesofe and Cabonina Koqo.
FCL public relations officer Malefane Morie confirmed the team to Lesotho Times this week.
The FCL has placed two athletes; Lesofe and Koqo, in the World Cycling Centre in Cape Town for preparations.
The camp started on 17 February and ends on 11 March 2020.
Morie said the duo is being sponsored by the Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC).
The African Road Bike Championship is one of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Qualifying races.
Morie said they had hoped to send all their athletes for the camp but the LNOC could only fund two. He said he has a strong conviction that the athletes’ stay in Cape Town will boost their competitiveness while they will also learn from other highly qualified riders at the centre.
“We wanted to take the entire team to the camp but the LNOC could only sponsor two,” Morie said.
“We hope that will help them because they will learn from better riders placed at the centre.”
He added that the riders who failed to travel to Cape Town have also started their preparations and will race in the Bocheletsane Cycling Tour on 14 March 2020.
“The Bocheletsane Cycling Tour is one of the races to be used as our warm up for our riders. Even the duo that is in Cape Town will come and compete in the race.”
He also commented on the exclusion of sensational rider Tumelo Makae from the team saying the rider was already based in Switzerland where he has the opportunity to attain more points in different races.
“Makae is already in Switzerland where he has participated in many high-profile races hence, he has already collected more points to boost his Olympics qualification chances,” Morie said.
Makae is in Switzerland under the Lesotho Tokyo 2020 Olympic Athletes Solidarity Scholarship through the LNOC.