By: Lilemo Matlotlo
Lesotho Sky will host six days cycling competition of 328 km long with 8913m vertical climbing which will take place in Maseru, Roma and Malealea respectively.
It is annual event which was founded in 2011 and this far has drawn over 40 countries to Lesotho.
In a press conference earlier this week, the founder of Lesotho Sky Mr. Christian Schmidt explained that there will be two destinations for this year’s event, which are Roma and Malealea.
“There will be two destinations for this year competition being Roma and Melealea. The first stage will be at Roma on Monday for a loop of 38,9km, passing through villages like: Ha Ralejoe, Ha Ntsi, Ha Lebalang and riding back to Roma.
“In a second day we will be riding to Korokoro, Matsieng, Ha Mosala to Matelile and finish at Malealea for a loop of 85km. The third day will be a short loop of 36,2km. The fourth day will be a longer loop of 54,35km.
“Then on Friday we will ride from Malealea back to Roma for a loop of 85, 5km,” he said.
In this cycling race the best international and Basotho riders compete in the small field of roughly 100 riders over six tough riding days through Lesotho’s mountains.
But this year there are 70 riders and 11 countries to participate in a competition, namely: United States of America, Norway, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Australia, Uganda, Kenya, South Africa and Lesotho as a hosting country.
Christian went on to say that the competition was a tiny group of an event at the beginning and he thanked partners and sponsors for growing it.
“We had a first race back in 2011. It was a tiny event of 10 riders from Lesotho and 10 riders from other countries, so there were 20 riders.
“We had humble beginnings and thank you for the support from our sponsors and partners that believed in us from the beginning, we have grown the event over the years,” he explained.
The competition is sponsored by Alliance Insurance Company, Standard Lesotho Bank, Lesotho Flower Mills to mention a few.
Alliance Insurance Company representative Ms Limakatso Mokobocho said she wishes that more local riders could come on board.
She further showed that Lesotho Sky should recruit more female competitors. She liked the responsibilities engaged by organizers to make this event a success.