Malebo upbeat about local riders

Participants set off on during Day 1 of the Motul Roof of Africa in Maseru, Lesotho on November 16, 2017 // Tyrone Bradley/Red Bull Content Pool // P-20171116-01418 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //

NTHAKO MAJORO

MASERU – A total of 400 riders is expected to battle-it-out for the Roof of Africa bronze class qualifier in Maseru tomorrow ahead of the main event which kicks off from December 4 to 7.

According to the Lesotho Off-Road Association (LORA) spokesperson, Keketso Malebo, this time around the qualifier race is also open to enduro riders.

“The qualifying event is open because this time around it includes the Enduro section, which is for those who want to practice,” Malebo said in an interview with Public Eye on Wednesday this week.

“The Enduro section is 30 kilometres, which is about five laps and 120 kilometres for the bronze qualifying event.”

About 67 riders are expected to compete in the Enduro section.

“The enduro section is meant for riders who want to up their game for the main event of the race in both the silver and gold sections as they need not to qualify for the event,” he said.

The Enduro section, he noted, would be tactical.

“It is extreme and that is because it is being designed for riders who will compete at the highest levels of the competition.”

Nine local riders are expected to compete in the Saturday’s two events; five for the bronze qualifying event and four in the enduro section.

Malebo said most of the contestants are South African with a few from both Botswana and Swaine.

“Lesotho riders include Teboho Moretlo, Tobatsi ’Maseatile, Joseph Motenane, Moshate Letsoela, Peter Andrew, Nkhasi Matete, Sechaba Chabeli, Basia ’Maseatile and Sootho Matala,” he said.

Motenane is the only Lesotho rider who competed in the silver class in previous events.

But this time around, three other local riders, Matala, Basia and Moretlo will also compete in the second highest section of the race.

The rest of their fellow teammates and countrymen will meanwhile participate in the qualifying section.

Malebo was, however, quick to add that the fact the number of local riders for the silver class has increased indicates that in the near future Lesotho will have one or more riders in the gold class.

Malebo was brimming with confidence that all the five local riders would qualify for the bronze class.

“They are better prepared, fit and very confident,” he said, adding: “Another thing is, they are now more experienced riders.”

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