FIVE pump track cyclists leave the country today for Pretoria, South Africa where they will compete in the Redbull Pump Track World championship qualifiers on Saturday.
Pump Track is a circuit of rollers, banked turns and features designed to be ridden by riders “pumping”—generating momentum by up and down body movements, instead of pedaling or pushing. It was originally designed for the mountain bike and BMX scene.
Mosito Mohapi, Molefi Ntoko, Meke Mapanya and Kopano Matobo will represent the country in male category while Khothalang Leuta will compete in the females’ category.
The pump track has formed part of the monthly Sky League which takes place in Roma where cyclists compete in different categories such as cross country and mountain bike marathon.
There has been a positive response towards pump track and last Saturday results are evidence for that. The five athletes who are travelling to Pretoria were in the last phase of their preparations with Mohapi recording 19:07 breaking his 19:19 record.
Ntoko improved his previous month’s time by a second recording 19:08 on Saturday while Matobo recorded 19:09.
This quintet will surely be faced with an acid test in Pretoria given that they will be competing in a bigger track than they are used to here at home.
But like their head of delegation Tumelo Makhetha has said, this will surely be good exposure for this group.
Mohapi, unlike the other four, has already qualified for the finals which will be staged in Switzerland in October this year and will be competing in this competition as part of his preparations for the biggest stage later this year.
Competing in the weekend event will give him a feel of what going against the best means and hopefully, the experience will help him prepare better for the bigger stage.
What has impressed me so far is seeing many young riders going about their paces on the track. This has given me hope that in the next five years, we will be having the best performers. Of course, provided that they are coached well.
We have always said nurturing for sports should start at a young age and that is what I saw in Roma last weekend. I hope the federation of cycling adopts this discipline officially as I believe Lesotho has the potential to compete against the rest of the continent.
Good luck to the team and I hope they hoist the national flag high and qualify for the finals.