Riders intensify preps ahead of world qualifiers
SIX local cyclists, who will participate at next month’s Redbull Pump Track World Qualifiers in Pretoria will on Saturday embark onto the last phase of their preparations at a Sky League event in Roma.
Mohapi Mosito booked his spot in the world finals back in March while his counterparts, Molefi Ntoko, Kopano Matobo and Meke Mapanya, will have to sweat for their spots in Pretoria next month.
Female riders who are preparing for the qualifiers are Khothalang Leuta and Makhotso Paamo.
The race organiser and co-founder, Christian Schmidt, said this will be the second event before the six athletes depart for South Africa where they will be faced with the mammoth task of qualifying for world championships which will be staged later this year.
“The qualifiers are getting closer and there are only two events left for our local riders to use as part of their preparations before Pretoria namely, Saturday’s Sky League and next month’s Sky League event,” Schmidt said.
“We have moved the dates for the Sky League event to the 13th because we wanted them to fine tune their preparations before leaving.”
Schmidt said local riders will be faced with stiff competition in Pretoria.
“I don’t want to lie, the competition is grueling there because it is an international competition with tracks that are different from ours but as Sky League, our efforts are meant to promote competition and get more people into cycling. We believe it is only way we can also raise the bar and try to be at the same level with the rest of the world.
“We also want to raise the bar but we are aware that it is not going to be easy but we are hopeful we will get there. The Sky League is still new as it was only started in November.”
He also added that they are hoping to expand the race and hold it also in different places outside Roma.
“We are still looking at two other different venues because we want to expand so that way we can reach bigger numbers instead of people who are based in Roma only,” he said.
Schmidt said they have signed a partnership with One Power Lesotho, who have sponsored them with the digital timer that will be used at the Pump Track.
The event will also see riders competing in mountain bike activities such as the 40-kilometre marathon and 15-kilometre cross country.