Club de Mazenod hosts MTB Day

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NTHAKO MAJORO

MASERU – While several sporting codes grapple with recognising the importance of adherence to set safety measures and post-Covid pandemic recovery, national cyclists will be back in action this Sunday to contest for the National MTB Day championship. Hosted by Club de Mazenod, the event will take place in Mazenod, outside the capital Maseru, to celebrate the national Mountain Bike (MTB) Day.

Dubbed MTB Cross Country, the race comes after a two-month lull in official action. The last national cycling competitions were held in May and used for the selection to the national championship and the national Road Bike Championship. The upcoming mountain bike race is divided into three categories, namely; 30 kilometres, 20 kilometres and five kilometres.

Club de Mazenod’s secretary general, Rammotang Makatile, said despite his club playing host for Sunday’s MTB Cross Country, the event is on the Federation of Cycling Lesotho (FCL) calendar. “This race is still on the calendar of the Federation of Cycling Lesotho and therefore we are expecting all the clubs who are affiliates of the organisation to take part at our event. “In total, we are expecting more than 10 clubs and all of them participate in all the categories,” said Makatile in an interview with Public Eye.

Makatile, who is also the FCL president and a board member on the Southern African Cycling Forum as well as an ex-officio member of the African Cycling Confederation, recalled that it is the FCL’s tradition to mark the National MTB Day with a mountain bike competition event each year.

He pointed out, though, that the event has not been held in the previous year because of the Covid-19 lockdown which saw all sporting codes suspended indefinitely. The difference with cycling this time around is that non-contact sports are permitted while contact sports are suspended indefinitely, once again due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “The reason why we mark the National MTB Day is because of our good performance in the category internationally as a country. We started in 2019 but, unfortunately, we could not mark the day in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Makatile said.

Club de Mazenod, Makatile said, has been given approval to host the National MTB Day by the FCL. “FCL gave us approval to host the event as it was already on their calendar and also since it comes ahead of the Mountain Bike Championship.” FCL Public Relations Officer, Malefane Morie, confirmed the granting of approval to host the event.

“This race is on the calendar of the Federation of Cycling Lesotho and Club de Mazenod are just the hosts of the event with the approval and support of the federation,” said Morie. The FCL spokesperson further said his federation would therefore use the same event to officially unveil cycling equipment the organisation received from the Union Cycliste International (UCI) in June this year. The equipment, which includes 15 bicycles, cycling tights, clip-in shoes and hamlets, was shown to the public through the media two months ago. Club de Mazenod was launched in 2020.

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