Female riders’ apathy hits cycling

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Moorosi Tsiane

LESOTHO Sky League co-organiser Tumelo Makhetha is worried by the small number of women who participate in the monthly race which takes place in Roma.

The season’s fourth edition was held last weekend.

Lichaba West, Katleho Manasi and Cabonina Koqo came first, second and third respectively in the male category.

Reentseng Nakeli was the only female rider competing who participated in the mountain biking category.

Makhetha said it was worrying that nothing has changed since the race was introduced in November 2018.

He said apart from the lack of females in the sport, the mountain biking category generally suffers serious apathy.

“The small numbers are worrying because we held the event to boost the spirits of the contestants although we know that mountain biking is generally shunned due to the high cost of equipment,” Makhetha said.

“Most mountain bikers are from outside Roma, so they use their own bikes to come here and that is also challenge. Also, the maintenance of their equipment is expensive and you will find that only riders from the Sufferfest team are consistent.”

To address this challenge, Makhetha said they would soon engage the cycling federation to map the way forward.

“We also still need to sit down with the federation and see how we can work around this issue because we must improve. We must come up with a different strategy.”

He however, said they were happy with the increase of participants in Pump Track.

“We have seen huge improvements in Pump Track and there have been lots of females who have shown interest. I think this is attributed to the easily accessible cycling club that we have here in Roma.”

Kopano Matobo won in the male Pump Track while last season’s champion Mosito Mohapi came second followed by Tlotlisang Mothae.

Lieketseng Ralefifi came first in the female category ahead of last season’s champion Khothalang Leuta and Nyalleng Monaheng respectively.

Makhetha said they will be hosting the Redbull Pump Track World Championship qualifiers on 29 February 2019 where the winner will go for finals later this year.

Mohapi qualified for the World Championships last year and competed in Köniz-Oberried, Switzerland.

 

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