MASERU – Lesotho’s rider, Tsolo Timello, says incessant rainfall during last weekend’s Roof of Africa rally contributed immensely to his poor performance. The 2022 Roof of Africa Rally kicked off last Thursday at the heart of the capital city, Maseru, with the traditional Round-the-Houses segment before the main race at Lekhalong la Baroa (Bushman’s Pass). Timello competed in the Bronze Class together with Shabeer Moosa and Griffin Joubert, all representing the hosting country, Lesotho. Lesotho’s other rider, Peter Andrews, competed in the Iron Class.
Moosa completed the race on position 14, Joubert 51 and Timello 209 among 235 Bronze Class competitors, while Andrews came on position 21 among 48 Iron Class competitors. Timello blamed the rain for his shabby performance compared to his Lesotho teammates. “The course was very slippery because of the rain and that made it hard to run smoothly,” said Timello in an interview with Public Eye. “There was a time when my bike lost direction and I fell and bleed.”
Lesotho Off-Road Association (LORA)’s Public Relations Officer, Lehlohonolo Taele, confirmed that the rain made things difficult. “Because of the heavy rains, we had to cut some routes where rivers were flooding,” said Taele. LORA spokesperson said initially Lesotho was going to be represented by six riders. He said unfortunately one of the Lesotho riders, Besele Malakane, could not compete at all due to his bike malfunctions.
“One of our local riders, Besele Malakane, had problems with his bike and as a result he had to withdraw from the race. The other one only made it to the time trial,” Timello said. South Africa’s Wade Young won the overall Roof of Africa Rally as he successfully defended his Gold Class title. Manuel Lettenbicchler from Germany became the runner up, while South Africa’s Travis Teasdale finished on third position, both in the Gold Class. The Silver Class was won by Luke Walker, Bronze Class by Tate Stroh and Iron Class by Tom Classen.