THE organiser of the Sky League, Christian Schmidt, says he is happy that for the first time since its inception last November, the competition was won by one of the upcoming riders as opposed to the usual seasoned riders.
Toka Kelepa won the cross country in Roma on Saturday clocking 1:10:54 while the Pump Track was won by Tšepang Mabea, who recorded 20:08 seconds.
“I am happy that other riders got an opportunity to climb onto the podium and receive more points as well as prizes,” Schmidt said.
“This will certainly be an incentive for them to do better in future.”
He said some of the top riders were unable to attend to the competition as they were competing in Free State.
“Our top riders were unable to attend this month due to another event in the Free State. The fact that they were not around certainly affects their overall rankings but we are happy that for a change, we saw new riders on the podium.
“However, for Phethetso Monese, who is the current leader, missing one or two events will not adversely affect his rankings.”
Schmidt said their other worry is the dropping number of participants due to the onset of the winter season.
Meanwhile, six athletes who are also preparing for the Pump Track World finals qualifiers to be staged in South Africa in July they also failed to attend last weekend’s event due to school commitments.
“I learnt that some are preparing for exams hence were unable to attend the event. However, the competition was indeed going to help them horn their skills as the competition is getting close.
“Nevertheless, as a parent, I would still say education first then sport comes second,” Schmidt said.
Mohapi Mosito has already booked his spot at the world finals while his counterparts Molefi Ntoko, Kopano Matobo and Meke Mapanya are yet to qualify for World Pump Track Finals whose dates venue are yet to be confirmed.
Female riders who are preparing for the qualifiers are Khothalang Leuta and Makhotso Paamo.
This 7th edition of the monthly Cycling League saw cyclists competing in 40-kilometre Mountain Bike marathon and 15-kilometre cross country.
“I would say that the most important component of the May and June league events will be to prepare the six finalists from Lesotho for the qualifiers in Pretoria in July.”
Schmidt said in their bid to make cycling more popular and improve access, they have also launched the Lesotho Sky Sports Club.
“We have just launched the Lesotho Sky Sports Club which will make access to training bikes and the Pump Track a lot easier and affordable. But we don’t only offer cycling as there are other outdoor activities which are popular among the youths which we are promoting such as hiking, climbing, trail running activities,” Schmidt said.
Leading the charts in the Pump Track category after six editions is Ntoko with 50 points while Matobo and Tšepang Mabea are second and third with 49 and 48 points respectively in the male category.
The leader in the females’ category is Leuta with 42 points while on second is ‘Nyalleng Monaheng with 28 points.