Monese sets eyes on Lesotho Sky
LESOTHO’S top ranked cyclist Phethetso Monese says his recent win in the 60 kilometers Nedbank XCM Championship will be a moral boost as he intensifies his preparations for the annual Lesotho Sky competition set for next month.
The two-lap marathon (30 kilometers each) started at Maseru mall to MASOWE and back to Maseru Mall on the 18th of this month.
This win came a week after Monese came second in the national championship which was won by his rival Tumelo Makae who clocked 1:23:48. Monese was just 18 seconds off the mark.
The Olympian who won silver in last year’s edition of the Lesotho Sky said he will now go into the country’s biggest race brimming with confidence after his recent stellar performance.
“I am impressed with my performance in last Saturday’s race because my target was to defend my title as the national champion so I pulled it off,” Monese said.
“It was not easy because there is now stiff competition in local cycling and the likes of Malefetsane Lesofe pushed me until to the finish line. We are over the national championship now and the target has shifted to the Lesotho Sky which will be next month,” Monese said.
The six-day 369km race will run from 24-29 September 2018 running through Metolong, Roma and Malealea.
The first day of the race will be a Metolong loop while the second day will see riders cycling from Roma to Malealea. The third day will be a Malealea loop while the fourth day will also be of Malealea Monster before riders return to Roma on the fifth day. The last day will be a Roma loop.
“This is a big competition and there is no doubt that it is important for us as local riders to ensure that we score enough points so this year will not be different. I have partnered with Stuart Marais of South Africa since last year and we came out second so this year I hope we finish first,” he said.
Lesotho Sky is a stage race that was started in 2011 by events company Sky Events and has grown in leaps and bounds. It is now among International Cycling Union (UCI) Class 1 Mountain Bike competitions that lure cyclists from almost all corners of the world taking part in it.