The Lesotho premium cycling event, the National Mountain Bike Championship will be held on 12 December at Ha TÅ¡iame in Maseru, the Federation of Cycling Lesotho (FCL) has said.
This will be the first official race since the return of sports two months ago after a long Covid-19 break which lasted for over six months.
According to FCL Public Relations Officer Malefetsane Morie, the initial date set for the race was 5 December but was postponed after two of Lesothoâ€™s top riders, Tumelo Makae and Phethetso Monese enrolled for the upcoming 2020 KAP Sanic three-day MBT race to be staged from the 3 to 5 December in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa.
â€œWe could have held the race soon after the ban on sporting activities was lifted but our reigning and defending champion (TumeloMakae) was not yet in the country hence we opted to host it early December. We also realised that Makae and Monese wonâ€™t be around on 5 December so we decided on a later date,â€ Morie said.
Makae arrived in the country a fortnight ago from Switzerland where he is currently based at the International Cycling Union (UCI) Training Centre, being monitored under the Olympic Solidarity Athlete Scholarship through the Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC).
The race has in the past been sponsored by Nedbank but this year will run without sponsors as Morie said they delayed to inform Nedbank about this yearâ€™s edition of the race owing to the Covid-19 scare.
â€œThey have not pulled out but we just did not tell them well in time about the race due to the prevailing circumstances since the Corona Virus outbreak.
â€œHowever, while it is good to have prices, the event is more about building the playersâ€™ profiles and not so much the money. We must also host the event without failure because the UCI wants the results as soon as possible as other countries have already submitted,â€ he added.
The race will have four categories, being the elite men and women as well as junior men and women, and will be held in-line with the Covid-19 regulations with no spectators.
â€œWe are highly committed to observing the Covid-19 protocols before and during the race, hence we prohibit sharing of bicycles, helmets, pumps or any tools during the race,â€ he noted. 6