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Chabeli shines in Retro Roof race  

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Leemisa Thuseho

SECHABA Chabeli finished second in the 2022 Retro Roof race over the weekend in Thaba-Bosiu, Maseru.

Unlike the motorcycles only Mother of Hard Enduro (Roof of Africa) which is held in Lesotho annually at the end of the year, the old school Retro Roof is open to cars, motorcycles, quad bikes, and side-by-side machines.

Chabeli completed the 261km bikes open race in 4:47:14 finishing behind the winner Wade Blaauw (4:42:22).

Chabeli became Lesotho’s top performer in last year’s Roof of Africa finishing 16th in his silver class debut.

It was also his first time to finish the Roof of Africa race. He first competed in the race in 2019 in the bronze category but failed to finish the race due to mechanical problems.

Another Mosotho rider, Nkhasi Matete, completed the race in 5:39:29 coming 7th while his compatriot, Moiphepi Bereng, clocked 5:47:00 to come 10th.

There were 24 participants in the category.

In the cars Retro C1 261km race, Makara Matekane and Keith Makenete were the only Basotho competitors in that category. Matekane came first completing it in 8:42:46 while Makenete failed to finish.

Mohapi Ramoseeka was the only athlete in the Bikes 200 category. He completed the 223km race in 7:32:30. Francois Smit won the Retro C2 cars in 5:41:30 while Rudolph Du Toit won the C3 class in 5:41:21.

Hennes Saaijman won the side-by-side machines race clocking 4:51:40. Iain McDonald won the vintage bikes category recording 5:48:22.

The race is returning after a two-year break due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This year’s edition will only be the second after its inception in 2019.

Top three finishers from each race got trophies while all the riders who finished the respective races got medals.

Lesotho Off Road Association (LoRA) public relations officer, Lehlohonolo Taela who was also part of the organising team, said they were happy with the performance of local riders who used the race as part of their preparation for the Roof of Africa.

“We are happy with the performance of our local riders,” Taela said.

“They performed well and if they maintain that, we will have good results in the Roof of Africa this year.’’

The race attracted 65 riders, which Taela said was a great number considerings the two-year break.