Home Sport Top riders flock to Lesotho

Top riders flock to Lesotho

by Lesotho Times

Leemisa Thuseho

WORLD number one motorbike racer, Manuel Lettenbichler, will this year contest in the annual Roof of Africa race in Maseru.

He will also be joined by South African, Mathew Green, American Billy Bolt and French Mario Roman.

The legendary off-road motorbike race, also dubbed the Mother of Hard Enduro, starts today and ends on Saturday.

The three-day showpiece is starting with a street race, also called the ‘round the houses’ and free style exhibitions at Maseru Club.

Later today, the riders will head to Khalong-La-Baroa in the outskirts of Maseru for the time trials and contest in a cross track race.

Tomorrow and Saturday all the classes (gold, silver, bronze and iron) will be in Khalong-La-Baroa for the main extreme races.

Lesotho Off Road Association (LoRA)’s chief marshal for the race, Tiki James, told the media in Maseru this week that the race had also attracted riders from Austria, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Japan.

He however, said the biggest numbers were from African countries.

“This year, we will have several of top-ranked riders,” James said.

“Added to that, the world’s number one rider, Manuel Lettenbichler from Germany will be here. We also have Mathew Green (South Africa) and Mario Roman from France. One of the highest ranked off-road riders in the world, Billy Bolt, from the United States will also be here.”

South African rider and defending champion in the gold class, Wade Young, is also back to defend his title.

Four hundred and ten riders are expected to compete in this year edition. However, Lesotho will only be represented by six riders.

Basia Maseatile is the only Mosotho in the silver category. Timello Tsolo, Peter Andrews, Shabeer Moosa, Besele Malakane and Griffin Joubert will compete in the bronze category.

On his part, Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation (LTDC) CEO, Retšelisitsoe Nko, who was also present, said the event contributed to the country’s economy enormously by boosting tourism.

“This is one of the biggest events that sell our country and create jobs.

“We want tourism to be one of the major contributors to the country’s economy,” Nko said.

The LTDC, he said, had embarked onto a results-based programme and this year’s edition of Roof Africa would help them develop real baseline figures on how much money the event would bring into the economy.

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