By Nthako Majoro
MASERU-The Tsela-tšoeu Cycling Club will tomorrow host the 3rd edition of the highly popular Malealea Monster Mountain Bike Challenge race.
The annual event is being held in conjunction with the Lesotho Cycling Association (LeCA), according to the LeCA secretary general, Mark West.
“This race is open to local and foreign riders, and would have both male and female cyclists taking part. It is divided into three categories—elite, juniors and veterans,” West said on Monday this week.
“The elite and veterans race will be 70 kilometres, while for the juniors and elite female riders, it would cover 25 kilometres. The main purpose of this race is to develop the level of cycling in Lesotho.”
In addition to the cream of Lesotho bikers, West said South African riders would also be in attendance. Last year, the main race was won by local rider, Phethetso Monese in three hours and 42 minutes, and is expected to grace the event again this time around.
“We are expecting between 80 and 100 riders to take part in the race. Locals would be coming from all nine clubs we have in the country, namely the hosts Tsela-tšoeu, Pula Maliboho, Lithoteng, Lithabaneng, Joes, Chain Pullers, Tumi’s Bike Club, KTA and MRCC. We also have 40 South Africans, mostly from Bloemfontein, who have already registered for the race.”
West further highlighted why the race was important for local riders.
“It affords the riders that extra training, while also giving them the chance to collect points, which are very crucial and count a lot when it comes to selecting riders to represent the country in international competitions.
“And with the UCI World MTB Championship to be held in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa coming up on August 30, as well as the Youth Olympic Games that will be held in China next year, the weekend race comes as ideal practice for the riders.”
After the Malealea race, local riders will battle-it-out in the Mohale’s Hoek MTB Race, scheduled for April 28.
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