Press Release: 01 March 2015
Africa’s only black UCI registered mountain bike team has announced that The Sufferfest has recommitted to investing as a title sponsor of the team for this season. In addition, The Sufferfest-ACE Lesotho MTB Team has successfully registered as an International Cycling Union (UCI) Mountain Bike Team for 2015.
Mark West, Team Manager, stated that “We usually refer to our sponsors as #DreamMakers, because that is exactly what they do – transforming our distant dreams into reality. Just over a year ago our riders had undoubted talent, but with very poor equipment and no money to travel to events, to dream of being a competitive cyclist was hopeless. Our riders come from very impoverished backgrounds and struggle to find food to put on the table, let alone to consider taking up this very expensive sport.”
The partnership with The Sufferfest started in 2014, with a much needed cash injection enabling the team to travel throughout Southern Africa and race against the world’s top riders. They competed at some very high-level races, such as World Cup and World Championship and held their heads high.
Lesotho is one of the poorest nations in the world and is classified as Low Human Development according to the United Nations Human Development Index, situated a lowly 162 out of 187 ranked nations. Yet in the sport of cross-country mountain biking, Lesotho has found itself ranked 34 in the world because the team and riders have managed to compete in events as far away as the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and Nanjing Youth Olympics.
West added that “In addition to the cash injection, the partnership with The Sufferfest has introduced us to the worldwide community of people who use their videos – affectionately known as Sufferlandrians. The Sufferlandrian community has rallied around our team and recently raised $6,000 when they heard about the plight of Likeleli, our star woman rider who had her bike stolen. Through their donations,not only have we have been able to buy a new competition bike for Likeleli, but we’ve also secured eight entry-level bikes for an emerging women’s team and we are working on getting another two competition bikes built for other team members.”
The Sufferfest produces the world’s best cycling training videos, featuring officially licensed footage from races like the Tour de France and UCI World Championships.
The team uses these videos as part of their training regime and they have significantly helped to build up strength, speed and stamina for competition at the highest level.
Sufferfest CEO and Founder David McQuillen said “On behalf of all Sufferlandrians, we are incredibly proud to be title sponsor of The Sufferfest-ACE Lesotho MTB Team. It’s been awesome seeing them compete at the highest level, and we’re thrilled that we can continue to give them opportunities to showcase and develop their amazing natural talent on the world stage”.