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From Roma and back in five days

Mohalenyane Phakela


MASERU — The third edition of Lesotho Sky Event ended gracefully after the Scott Factory Racing team won the Elite Men UCI category of the race on Friday at Roma.

The race started with a 24km urban cycling course — in which the teams were racing against time — from Pioneer Mall through the rocky surfaces via Qoaling, up the Mpilo hill to the finish line at Lesotho Sun.

The riders then left for Roma on Monday where they engaged in a 384km race through Ramabanta, Malealea then back to Roma in five days.

Scott Factory Racing is a team from South Africa which was represented by Phillip Buys and Matthys Beukes.

The team pulled a record time of 57 minutes in the urban race and 18 hours for the main race which landed them the number one spot.

Team Versluys-Contego (Belgium) came in second completing the race 13 minutes after the winners.

The first local team to reach the finish line was Standard Lesotho Bank which finished the race in 20 hours.

Having won this race shows that Scott Factory Racing came with a purpose, and that is to win.

“We worked so hard in preparing for this as there is a bunch of good riders here from all over the world,” Buys said on behalf of the team.

“It was a challenge as we had no experience on this route and it had many unstable rocks, but having to run away from dogs in some areas where we passed was quite fun,” he said.

President of the Lesotho Cycling Association Tumisang Taabe said that he was pleased by the performance of his team.

“As a rider, I am very excited about the results we got. Although we did not take the number one spot, the boys did very well,” Taabe said.

“We all saw how good Scott Factory is, so we will train hard for next year’s race and ensure that we win it.”

The founder of Lesotho Sky Christian Schmidt said he was very excited that the event turned out successfully.

“Initially this was just a dream, and now it’s the biggest cycling event in the southern hemisphere,” Schmidt said.

“I thank everybody who contributed in the success of the event and I am hoping to host another one soon.”

“I love Lesotho very much and can now proudly call it my second home.”

Other winners of the day were X10Siv team winning the Open Men race, Display Mania taking the Open Mixed title and Team Tiara was disqualified because they did not finish the race.

Local deejays Mekonko, Dallas T and newly crowned superstar Dj Pablo kept the crowd dancing at the starting and finishing points while local poet Bia gave them a taste of Lesotho’s poetry.

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