MASERU – Teenage motorbike entrant, Nkhasi Matete, is in fine mood for LIVE 400, an annual episode which Lesotho has been asked to host by the South African National Cross-Country Motor Cycling Championship at the 11th hour.
The 98-kilometre distance event, dubbed Lesotho LIVE 400 since it takes place in Lesotho,was set for friday at Thaba Bosiu, Maseru.
According to the Lesotho Off-Road Association (LORA)’s public relations officer, Kekeletso Malebo,
contenders in the race are normally from among the regional SACU neighbouring countries of Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and South Africa.
Malebo said by the time registration was closed on Monday, a total 64 riders had registered among whom was Matete and other local riders.
“We have six local riders, namely; Nkhasi Matete, Teboho Moretlo, Tobatsi ’Maseatile, Timeletso Ts’olo, Nkhoakhoa Thabane and Molamu Morojele,” Malebo said.
This year’s edition is going to be the fourth round, with Matete confident Lesotho riders would ascend the podium to win accolades at the end of the race.
“We are ready for the race and will be on the podium at the end of the competition, one or two of us,” said the 16-year-old Matate in an interview with Public Eye on Monday last week.
This is going to be Matate’s first appearance in the LIVE 400 competition.
Along with Thabane, also 16, he is going to compete in the all categories with Moretlo, Ts’olo and Morojele, while ’Maseatile is going to compete in the silver class.
Matete has just qualified for this year’s Roof of Africa which will as usual take place in Lesotho towards the end of the year.
It is going to be his first ever appearance at the popular annual Roof of Africa bike race.
“In fact, he (Matete) was the youngest rider in the Roof qualifiers,” Malebo said.
Malebo said even though they were given the chance to host LIVE 400 at the 11th hour they were, however, hoping to host it every year from now if this year’s Lesotho event is successful.
“We are hoping to continue holding it annually, but that will depend on the success of the upcoming event.”
Malebo said the race was supposed to be held in Bloemfontein, South Africa as usual but due to complications which he could not disclose they were asked to hold it.
LIVE 400 was an off-road event which was flat and bit faster than the Roof of Africa which was extreme and tougher.
“It was supposed to be one of the toughest in Southern Africa but not like the Roof. Even its terrain is not extreme like that of the Roof,” Malebo said.