SUFFERFEST African Dream Team, previously known as ACE Lesotho Mountain Bike team, climbed two places to 133 in the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) rankings that were released last week.
Team manager Mark West expressed his delight, saying this was confirmation that their hard work was paying off and they were raising high the national flag in the sport.
“This is great news for us. At 133rd in the world out of 139 teams, we are up there among the best teams in the world,” West recently told the Sunday Express, adding this would motivate them to redouble their efforts to get to the very top.
“The new rankings are always difficult to predict because many riders have changed teams and that affects rankings. However we are happy with the rankings and aiming to work even harder to maintain this high ranking although it is not going to be a walk in a park but we are determined to give our very best.
“We have a strong team with strength in depth. Phetetso Monese is getting better, but so are the riders behind him. Team rankings are based on the top 3 men and top 3 women on a team, so to have many riders with points helps.”
He said Phetetso, Paseka Makhebesela and Tumelo Makae were the top three males while the top two females were Likeleli Masitise and Bakang Ebudilwe from Botswana.
He said the top local rider Teboho Khantsi missed out on points from African Championship and National Championships due to injury.
“Teboho missed out on points in the African Championship and National Championship because of injury but I’m expecting him to return to the top 3 for this season,” West said.
He said the rankings were very important as they also help them secure internal and foreign sponsors.
He also said the name change was informed by the need to attract riders from other African countries but insisted “Lesotho will always be at the core of the team”.