LESOTHO Cycling Association (LCA) president Sehaole Mpopo says they are targeting to reach the top five in the upcoming African Continental Mountain Bike Championships 2019 set for Namibia on Friday and Saturday.
The eight-member team leaves the country on Tuesday evening for Windhoek.
Lesotho will be represented by Phethetso Monese, Malefetsane Lesofe, Malefetsane Masokela, Paseka Makhebesela, Patrick Manasi, Lichaba West, Tumelo Makae and Eric Ramohanoe.
Mpopo told the Sunday Express that he is confident that the experience which some of the riders have in international competitions will come in handy.
“The country is still ranked second in Africa and we have to maintain that while at the same time trying to chase South Africa all the way but we know it is not going to be easy,” Mpopo said.
“However, I believe in this team. They can get the work done. Some of the riders possess immense international experiences which will be helpful in competitions. We have previously won two medals in the same competition so our confidence is high.”
Mpopo said they also sent two cyclists for a race in Bloemfontein last week Saturday as part of their preparations.
“We would have liked to take a team of five riders for the Bloemfontein race but due to different commitments only Monese and Ramohanoe made it. However, I still believe we have a team that is capable of competing. We also have the Sky League this weekend which will be the riders’ final race before they depart for Namibia on Tuesday,” Mpopo said.
He said they have used the cyclists’ national rankings in their selection with the top eight riders getting first preference.
“We wanted to be fair and transparent so it was best to use the riders’ rankings. We also have the duo of West and Makae who are placed at the World Cycling Centre in Cape Town so we are good to go,” Mpopo said.
Alliance Insurance Company, Lesotho National Olympics Committee and Nedbank are the team sponsors.
Makae and Likeleli Masitise (female) won Lesotho’s two silver medals in 2017 in Mauritius.
Last year, Lesotho had no representation at the games as the dates were clashing with the Commonwealth Games which were held in Gold Coast, Australia.