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West hails cyclists  

Lesotho Times

Lesotho's widely read newspaper, published every Thursday and distributed throughout the country and in some parts of South Africa. Contact us today: News: [email protected] Advertising: [email protected] Telephone: +266 2231 5356

Leemisa Thuseho

CYCLING national team coach, Mark West, has hailed local cyclists’ performance at the just ended African Mountain Bike (MTB) Championships.

The championships were held at Thaba-Trails in Johannesburg from 2 to 4 June 2023.

The championships saw Lesotho’s top rider, Tumelo Makae, making it in the top ten. He settled for tenth position clocking a time of 1:39:29 in the elite male’s race.

Another Lesotho rider, Eric Ramohanoe, did not finish the race after he encountered a tire puncture.

West said even though none of his riders made it to the podium finish, he was happy with the performance of all the riders who finished the race.

He said, their best performer Makae, was only beaten by South African riders and one Namibian.

“Makae finished behind eight South Africans and one Namibian, so that puts Lesotho on third position in the overall country rankings in Africa,” West told the Lesotho Times this week.

“This is a commendable performance because South Africa and Namibia are some of the best countries when it comes to mountain biking on the continent.

“The team did better than we expected…we managed to beat strong countries likes Tunisia, Morocco, Mauritius and Zimbabwe.”

A small country like Lesotho measured its riders’ performance by looking at which countries they managed to defeat in a competition. Therefore, he also gave credit to Monese saying despite finishing outside the top ten he managed to beat riders from Botswana, Rwanda, and even some from South Africa.

In the female’s under-23 competition, Lesotho was represented by Tšepiso Lerata who also did not finish the race after her bike gave her problems along the way.

“Our female rider got off to a good start but along the way she started struggling with her gears and at some stage she had to stop and untangle her chain.  Basically, her bike was not up to scratch, we did not have time and the budget to put it in good condition before the race,” West said.