MASERU — Former Roof of Africa winner, Jarvis Graham and three-time winner Chris Birch will be hoping to reclaim the top spot from 17-year-old Wade Young when this year’s race gets underway at Maseru club on Wednesday.
Lesotho Off-road Association (Lora) public relations officer, Keketso Malebo, told the Lesotho Times that New Zealand born Birch and British Graham are confident of taking the crown away from the teen Young who made the headlines last year after becoming the youngest rider to win the competition.
“I can tell you that we are a expecting a fierce battle from these three riders.
“They were not happy to lose to the youngster and the duo wants to reclaim the top spot in this year’s race,” Malebo said.
“We are awaiting a very interesting battle from these riders especially after they were beaten to the crown by an unknown teenage rider.”
He said it is all systems go for the race and also called on Basotho to support the race.
Among the 405 riders to take part in this year’s competition, Malebo said 377 of them are from South Africa while the rest are from Australia, England, Germany, Scotland, Poland and a few from the southern African countries.
Lesotho also has Molamu Morojele who will be among the riders.
The three-day event will start on Thursday with the Round the House race at Maseru Club.
Roof of Africa comprises three categories — Round the House (45 kilometres) and Time Trial on Friday (160km) and Saturday (135km).
He said the winner of the three stages of the race will walk away with M50 000 while second and third candidates will pocket M25 000 and M12 000 respectively.
“There is no doubt that it is going to be an exciting event especially that rivalry between former winners Birch and Graham who will be trying to stop Young who won the competition last year,” said Malebo.
“This year’s competition is very technical, very challenging and shorter, but it will take the best rider to win it,” he said.