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Roof of Africa set for next month

Pascalinah Kabi

MASERU — The Roof of Africa 2011, one of the toughest enduro races in the world, will take place next month.
In a statement to the media, the Lesotho Off-road Association (Lora) said it was expecting this year’s race to be tougher than last year’s race because of the big names that have promised to participate.
“The entries are streaming in for the 2011 Roof of Africa enduro race, by now reckoned as one of the most demanding and gruelling enduro motorcycle races in the world,” Lora said in the statement.
“The race will take place from the 24th to the 26th November in Lesotho and it will be the 44th year this race will take place in South Africa’s neighboring country.”
Defending champion Chris Birch is expected to take part in the race.
Birch, originally from New Zealand, has temporarily moved to South Africa.
2010 podium finisher, Andreas Lettenbichler, from Germany has also entered on a Husqvarna.
Also expected to make this year’s event a must watch race is 2010 Roof of Africa runner-up and double SA national off-road title holder Jade Gutzeit.
Gutzeit is expected to give both Birch and Lettenbichler tough competition as he has won the race in the past and was close to victory last year.
Gutzeit is expected to be a serious contender for the title this year.
As Roof of Africa has been declared the Mother of All Enduros in the world, riders will have to come prepared for the grueling test.
For them to do this, they are expected to be fit both mentally and physically.
About 120 riders failed to finish in the gold section last year.
The race will again start with the traditional Around the Houses race (three laps of 3.6 kilometres each) that will take place on November 24, in the streets of Maseru.
Lora said with the introduction of bronze, silver and gold medals last year this year’s race is going to be bigger.
“The 2011 event promises to be even bigger and better than the extremely successful 2010 race that saw the introduction of the bronze, silver and gold distances giving competitors a fair chance to complete certain
sections of this tough event,” said the statement.

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