MASERU – The Federation of Cycling Lesotho (FCL) has received 15 bicycles and other cycling equipment from the Union Cycliste International (UCI) as part of the international union’s continued efforts to assist the country to excel in the sport.
The equipment was officially unveiled last Saturday at the Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) headquarters in Maseru after it was received from the UCI on June 11.
In an interview with Public Eye on Monday this week, FCL Public Relations Officer (PRO), Malefane Morie, said: “The Federation of Cycling Lesotho has received 10 mountain bikes and five road bikes from the world cycling governing body, UCI.
“This kind of equipment is given every year to poor countries that perform well in cycling.” Morie, however, said they received the much needed assistance following a request to the international body for support.
FCL President, Rammotang Makatile, had sought support in 2019. “It’s just that the equipment delayed to arrive in Lesotho after our President asked for the assistance in 2019 as he attended the UCI conferences.”
Morie said the first African countries to ask for the assistance were Lesotho, Botswana, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Nigeria and Mozambique.
He said, however, that the Ivory Coast and Mozambique failed to put a convincing proposal before UCI and, as a result, both have never been included in a list of the countries which the world cycling mother body assists.
“Therefore, the countries which were remaining in the list were Lesotho, Botswana, Cameroon and Nigeria,” Morie said. The FCL PRO said all the 15 bikes were very expensive as none of them cost less then M30 000.
“This means these 15 bicycles are estimated to cost around M500 000.” Morie added: “Some of the equipment from the UCI includes bicycle parts such as wheels, chains and others.”
The equipment, Morie added, also included cycling gear like cycling tights, clip-in shoes and bicycle helmets.
Morie said the LNOC had played a big role for the equipment to finally arrive in the country. He further said the equipment would therefore be kept at LNOC while FCL was yet to make plans of how it was going to be used.
“Because this equipment can be crucial for developing young riders, as well as women cyclists, this means this equipment can be used in schools; be it in primary and high schools.”
Morie said the bicycles would not be owned by individuals but would be kept by the FCL for international competitions.