We are proud to announce that Lesotho will be sending a team to the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships to be held in Cairns, Australia from 05-10 September and that our riders will be featuring in the team.
This is the first time that Lesotho will be represented since 2013, when the Championships were held in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
The trip, which includes the experienced Elite rider: Phetetso Monese, under 23 star: Tumelo Makae, and Junior rider: Ramohanoe Ramohanoe, has been made possible with the support of Alliance Insurance Company and Lesotho National Olympic Committee.
Alliance Insurance Company has contributed M80,000 towards the trip as fulfilment of their pledge to see Basotho athletes raising the Lesotho flag across the globe in search of Olympic glory in Tokyo 2020. This comes on top of the M70,000 sponsorship by Alliance in May, which boosted the Lesotho team to win two medals at the African Mountain Bike Championships in Mauritius.
The cross-country (XC) course in Cairns is notoriously difficult with some steep rocky descents and big drop-offs, but the team has gained a lot of experience from racing the South African XC circuit this year, as well as the race in Mauritius and another in Namibia. It has been our best season and we are ready for the challenge of World Championships.
Phetetso Monese has shaken off the disappointment of the broken chain in the Olympic Games and has raced consistently since Rio. His best result was a brilliant 4th place in the African Championships, just missing out on a medal. The race in Cairns will feature many of the same riders that he faced in Rio and he is looking to redeem himself. He is currently the top ranked Lesotho rider at 97th in the World.
Tumelo Makae is in great form following his silver medal at the African Championships in the under 23 class and winning the National Championship Elite class. He will challenge the under 23 Men’s class in Australia.
Lesotho National Olympic Committee have contributed M41,000 towards the trip to enable young Ramohanoe to attempt qualification for the 2018 Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games. Ramohanoe has been part of the LNOC Talent Identification project and has shown a lot of promise in races this year. He was part of the team to the recent Bahamas Commonwealth Youth Games, where he raced in the Road Race discipline for the first time. He is much happier to get back to his favoured Mountain Bike discipline.
The Lesotho Mountain Bike Team will fly out to Australia on Saturday 02 September, returning on Tuesday 12 September. The team will be managed by Mark West.
All three riders belong to The Sufferfest African Dream Team, a professional cycling team based in Lesotho registered to the International Cycling Union. The team is currently ranked 27th in the world.