To-date a total of eight Lesotho nationals are among the over 266 entrants who have registered for this yearâ€™s edition of the Roof of Africa race.
Lesotho, as the host country, has been reserved 15 slots and so far eight have been taken by Besele Malkane in bronze, Nkhoakhoa Thabane in bronze, Teboho Moretlo, Nkhasi Matete, Tobatsi Maseatile, Basia Maseatile, Timello Tsolo and Moshate Latlela all in silver category.
One of the Lesotho riders, Latlela told NewsdaySport that he has been working overtime since the beginning of the year.
“My goal has been to focus on this year event and I believe I prepared enough for it although it was a tough year, the good thing about our sport is that you can prepare alone and still do well,” he said.
Meanwhile, the 2019 Roof of Africa podium place finisher South Africans Kile Flanagan and Champion Wade Young have already registered for this year’s showpiece.
The two world renowned enduro riders are among the 266 riders who have already committed to the 2020 Roof of Africa Mother of hard enduro penned for 9 to 12 December.
The event was initially scheduled for 18 to 21 November, however, it was postponed to a later date after South Africa announced the opening of its borders starting on 1 October 2020 after a lengthy covid-19 induced total shutdown. The opening of borders enabled regional travel which had been banned since March this year when the Covid-19 outbreak hit the Southern Region of Africa.
Young shared the podium in 2019 with fellow countrymen Kile Flanagan and Scott Bouverie, who were in second and third positions.
The 23 year old rider from Kwazulu Natal told NewsdaySport that he is in high spirits this year as he looks forward to defending his title.
“I am looking forward to defending my title, my excitement is on high and I have been training hard for the competition,” Young said.
“This year has been a tough one with Covid-19 but we are glad that we have opportunity to compete and do what we love. My aim is to keep the title with me for as long as possible”
Young became the youngest rider to win the competition in 2012 when he was 16 years and has since gone on to win the title five times.
The organisers’ concern has been that there are still some travel restrictions in some countries which may limit the number of participants in this year’s edition.
“The ongoing travel restrictions in some countries may limit the number of international riders who may have been able to come were there no restrictions. The good news is that Wade Young will be back to defend his Gold Class title that he won last year and some of the top South African riders,” Tendo Fischer said.
To date, more than 266 riders have already registered for the event since entries were opened last month and the organisers are confident that there will be others from across Southern Africa.
This year’s event will be without spectators and there will not be other events such as round the houses and no qualifying events. The association has rather resolved to work with clubs and their respective mother bodies to get ridersâ€™ information for them to be registered.