ACE Lesotho Mountain Bike team manager, Mark West says his team is looking to continue where it left off in 2016 and cement its position among the world’s major cycling teams.
West noted in a recent statement that the team scored major successes in 2016 which catapulted them to number 35 on world rankings, from position 50 in 2015.
“2016 was a very successful year for ACE Lesotho Mountain Bike Team as it reached its highest ever final placing in the world team rankings at 35th,” West stated, adding, “This compares favourably to our position 50 in 2015 and 42 in 2014. It also places ACE Lesotho as nombre del viagra generico the top African mountain bike team”.
“Another highlight from the release of the rankings is that one of our riders has attained an elite top 100 world-ranking for the first time ever.
“Likeleli Masitise just squeezed in at 100th in the world elite women rankings. This caps off a great season for Likeleli after becoming the first Mosotho woman to complete the tough Lesotho Sky race in September.”
West added that the ACE team performances also helped Lesotho to climb up to position 34 in the elite men world rankings from number 39 in 2015, and 46 in the women’s category.
He said Lesotho is second to South Africa on the continental rankings in the men’s category and third after Namibia and South Africa in the women’s category.
West however, noted some disappointments including Phetetso Monese’s chain break which forced him to drop out of the race at the Rio Olympics in Brazil.
“Phetetso Monese was unlucky not to find himself in the top 100 of the elite men rankings, but he achieved a personal best ranking of 103rd. If his chain had not broken, causing him to drop out of the Rio 2016 mountain bike race, Phetetso would certainly have reached the top 100 for the first time,” West said.
However, Monese bounced back to win several local and South Africa championships as did Teboho Khantsi.
“He (Monese) won the Marathon and Eliminator events at the Crank Chaos Mountain Bike Festival, hosted by Afriski at Mahlasela from 27 to 30 October 2016 where he beat off the challenge from South African former world champion, Greg Minnaar.
“He also teamed up with Cape Town rider, Bruce Hughes to win the 3-day Wines 2 Whales Ride from 7 to 9 November. However, Teboho Khantsi got the last laugh by beating Phetetso in a sprint finish to win the Ficksburg Cherry Festival on 21st November, in a course record of 2 hours 35 minutes and 45 seconds,” West said.
He added that they hoped to build on these success in 2017 to push for the number one spot in Africa as well as increase the number of female cyclists.
He also expressed gratitude to the team’s sponsors, Unitrans and Alliance Insurance.
“Unitrans has been a consistent sponsor since the team first emerged in 2014 while Alliance insurance has been increasing its investment and in 2016, they enabled riders to race in Europe and South Africa,” he said.