Makae shines in UCI World Cup

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Leemisa Thuseho

SWITZERLAND-based mountain bike (MTB) rider, Tumelo Makae, has displayed a promising performance after finishing in the top 20 of the 2021 Transmaurienne International MTB competition.

The race was held in France from Monday to Friday.

The overall final standings saw Makae finishing 17th out of 121 riders from various countries. Makae’s overall time was 14:27:27.

In his first race on Monday, he finished 27th before coming 28th the next day. On Wednesday and Thursday, he finished 12th and 21st respectively. He concluded the race on a high note on Friday coming 11th.

Speaking to the Sunday Express from France this weekend, Makae said he was happy with his performance although there is still room for improvement.

“I was at my best from the first day and I kept on improving therefore, I am proud of the performance,” Makae said.

“Despite the good performance, I think there is still room for improvement considering that the stage races are not my main races. I am just participating in them because there are no cross-country races at the moment.”

Makae was fresh from a dismal performance in the 2021 Mercedes-Benz UCI MTB World Cup in France a fortnight ago were he failed to the race. Makae was pulled out under the MTB competitions 80 percent rule which says any rider whose time is 80 percent slower than that of the leader’s first lap is withdrawn.

He only completed three of the seven laps and came 93rd out of 102 in the final standings.

Makae debuted the World Cup in France in 2018. In 2019, he competed in the World Cup in Switzerland and France while last year he also contested in Germany and Czech Republic.

In all the previous appearances, the biker struggled only to improve this year.

Makae was one of the local athletes who were vying for their first Olympics qualification but failed because of Lesotho’s low UCI MTB rankings.

He has been in Switzerland under a Lesotho Tokyo 2020 Olympic Athletes Solidarity scholarship since 2017.

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