Cyclists take MTB Day champs to the wire


MASERU – Cyclists Ramohanoe Ramohanoe and Phetetso Monese took the Mountain Bike (MTB) Cross-Country championship to the wire in Mazenod last Sunday. Both Ramohanoe and Monese finished the men’s elite 35km MTB Day Cross-Country in 01:13.55 in Mazenod last Sunday. But Ramohanoe, 21, crossed the finish line just ahead of Monese in a stunning finish which saw him claim the MTB Day championship with the latter settling for second spot.

In the female elite category, Tebello ’Mofa rose to the occasion as she came first in the 25km event in 00:46.00. ’Mofa, 22, crossed the finish line five minutes ahead of the second-placed Tšepiso Lerata with 00:51:00. “I was really looking forward for this race but it’s just that it was too flat for me,” said Ramohanoe in a post-race interview with Public Eye.

“So I just told myself that I got to do some attacks during the race but it didn’t work out for me.” Ramohanoe further said: “But I just told myself that I have to put in my mind that I go for a sprint so that I can really win because I had realised that I had the same pace as that of Phetetso. “So I know exactly that if it was going up I could really open a gap from the start but it was not really easy for me because I am not a flat rider but just a climber.”

Ramohanoe said, as a result, he had to focus on winning than race timing. “So it was really good for me just to put in my mind that I should look only for a win and not put more timing on racing because I have previous race that I won last time so I am still leading with everything.”

Monese, 40, on the other hand, said he’s fine with his performance. He said in fact, he was not expecting to put up such a fine performance. “I feel really proud of myself after today’s race. I am happy with the position I got in the race,” said Monese.

He further said: “To be honest, I was not anticipating such a fine performance after a being inactive for a long time.” Monese also said he was very proud to see young-and-upcoming riders putting up a good performance in the race. “I am also proud with the performance of our young-and-upcoming riders. They are really promising as cyclists and what I like most is that they are working hard.” The female champion ’Mofa, who competed at Sunday’s race despite not feeling well, however, said the race was not very difficult for her.

“It was not that difficult on my side but because I was not feeling, it was exhausting me a little bit.” Mofa, however, said participating in the race made her felt better at the end of the day. “But I am feeling quite better now, after I competed at today’s race,” she said. Lerata, 17, on the other hand said the race was a bit challenging for her. “I can say the race was a little bit challenging but we have managed to maintain the way we used to race like,” said Lerata.

She further said: “It was tough at some stages. But at the end of the day it served as a motivation to us female cyclists to realise that a number of female riders in the country is increasing.” The race, which was held to celebrate the national MTB Day, was hosted by the Club de Mazenod, with the approval of the local cycling mother-body, Federation of Cycling Lesotho (FCL), as the event is on the latter’s calendar.

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