FEDERATION of Cycling Lesotho spokesperson, Malefane Morie says all the stage is set for the National Mountain Bike Championship first leg on Boxing Day at Masianokeng Lifestyle Centre, Maseru.
Morie said the 42km cross country race will be used to rank local riders for the International Cycling Union (UCI) in the juniors, Under 23 and elite categories.
He said that the logistics for the race are almost done as they are finalising the marking of the route the riders will use.
“This race is meant to help riders improve their rankings at the UCI, a platform that enables them to qualify for big events such as Commonwealth games,” said Morie.
“The results are sent to UCI which compares them against other countries. The same results will be updated on their rankings which also benefits riders as they build their profiles.
“The route marking is expected to be completed today. Riders will be allowed to go for route inspection and testing tomorrow.”
Morie said registration for the race will open until Sunday morning before the commencement of the race. Top riders are expected to be part of the race Morie revealed that some of them are already in the country.
“We are expecting almost all of our top riders because this is one of the biggest events on our calendar. Tumelo Makae, the defending champion is already here and Phetetso Monese who for a long time dominated the cycling industry in the country is taking part in the race.
We also have Teboho Khantši and some promising riders such as Kabelo Makatile, Mokake Mokake, Malefetsane Lesofe and Malefetsane Masokela,” he said.
Khantši early this year won the national road bike championship.
Makae had just returned home from Switzerland where he was in a two-year Olympic Solidarity Athlete scholarship.
Morie said their only challenge for now was getting a sponsor for the event which was in the past years sponsored by Nedbank.
“I think our biggest challenge now is getting a sponsor for the event after our last year’s sponsors Nedbank pulled out this year at the back of the Covid-19 pandemic. Nedbank, has however promised to come back next year but in the meantime we don’t have sponsors,” he said.
He also added that this year, they were intentional about involving female participation in the sport.
“We have already identified 10 ladies whom I am coaching, they are participating at the championship this weekend and we hope to see more of them join the sport.”