PUMP Track specialist Mosito Mohapi says his participation in the Red Bull World Championship was a dream come true despite his poor performance.
Mohapi finished 48th out of 50 in the 19 October 2019 competition at the Swiss Bike Park in Köniz-Oberried, Switzerland.
The championship was launched by Velosolutions and Red Bull last year. This year the two companies joined forces with The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) for the race which now falls under the mountain bike discipline. It is now one of UCI’s eight affiliated disciplines (road, track, mountain bike, BMX Racing, BMX Freestyle, trials, cyclo-cross and indoor).
Pump Track racing adds a fresh face to bike racing. Pump Tracks combine rolling jumps with banked turns and riders use the track features to gain momentum. Racing either takes place in a head-to-head battle or a time trial depending on the track.
There were over 25 qualifiers across the globe from New Zealand to India, Chile to France, South Africa to the USA.
Mohapi qualified for the competition in March this year during Roma Trading Post qualifiers and he was the sole rider representing Lesotho in this year’s final.
The Roma cyclist recently told the Sunday Express that although the competition was tough, he cherished the experience and returned with some positives takeaways that he would build on in preparation for the next edition.
“It was a dream come true to compete at such a big stage with some of the world’s best pump track riders,” Mohapi said.
“The competition was tough because the other competitors were just too speedy and strong.”
He said he also faced challenges with the track which was much bigger than what he was used to.
“I tried my best and finished 32nd in the first round but I was much slower in the following rounds. However, this was just my first experience at the huge track.
“There are few strategies that I have learnt and among others, I have learnt how to cover speed. I must improve and have been talking to Christian Schmidt (Sky League founder) that we must improve here at home,” he said.
Mohapi said he also came back with contacts of other athletes who pledged to assist him should he qualify again next year.
“I made connections because I realised that the athletes used BMX bicycles specifically made for Pump Track. My contacts have promised to help me next year but on condition that I qualify again. So, my focus is now on ensuring that I qualify for the next year edition.
“I must start working hard from now on. I have met one guy from France and one from Switzerland, with whom I will keep in touch,” Mohapi said.