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Makae fails to impress in Switzerland

Leemisa Thuseho

LESOTHO’S Switzerland-based cyclist, Tumelo Makae, yesterday displayed an underwhelming performance failing to finish his two races during the 2021 Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Mountain Bike (MTB) World Championships, in Val di Sole, Italy.

The championships started on Wednesday and are expected to end today.

Makae started his campaign on Friday competing in the elite men’s E-MTB Cross-country but was eliminated in the fourth lap. The race had four seven laps.

The overall standings saw him finishing 28th out of 39 riders.

Frenchman, Gillous Jerome, came first clocking 51:44. Another Frenchman, Pigeon Hugo came second clocking 52:02.

Yesterday, Makae was racing in men’s elite MTB Cross-country and he finished 85th out of 92 riders. The Lesotho national was eliminated in the third of six laps.

He had hoped for a better outing having finished 83rd out of 89 last year in Austria.

He headed into the event highly motivated after displaying a good performance at the 2021 Transmaurienne International MTB competition in France last month. He finished 17th out of 121 riders from various countries. His overall time was 14:27:27.

Last month, Makae competed in the 2021 Mercedes-Benz UCI MTB World Cup in France. However, he was pulled out under the MTB competitions 80 percent rule which stipulates that any rider whose time is 80 percent slower than that of the leader’s first lap should be withdrawn.

The Switzerland championship is likely to be Makae’s last this year.

Although he was expecting to perform well in Switzerland, Makae had said he would not pressure himself.

“I had good preparations but there are no big expectations from the races. I am just going to enjoy the competition while also giving them all I have,” he said last week.

Makae has been in Switzerland under a Lesotho Tokyo 2020 Olympic Athletes Solidarity scholarship since 2017. The scholarship is expected to expire at the end of this month. It is not yet clear whether or not his stay in Switzerland will be renewed.

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