Following an impressive performance in the 2015 Protective Bike Four Peaks race held in Austria from 17-21 June, Team Alliance’s Teboho Khantši and Phetetso Monese have been invited to next month’s Transalp Mountain Bike Race.
Transalp is one of the world’s most prestigious Mountain Bike races which takes seven days to complete and will be held in three countries—Germany, Switzerland and Italy.
According to Lesotho Sky events manager Kananelo Masia who went with the two cyclists to Austria, the Translap invite is in recognition of the cyclists’ showing in Austria.
Monese finished the 270 kilometer race in 39th position out of 900 riders, while Khantši could not be part of proceedings on the last day due to health issues.
Monese and Khantši, who also ride for the Academy of Cycling Excellence (ACE) Mountain Bike team, were the only black African riders in the Austria event.
“Firstly, we would like to express our gratitude to Alliance Insurance who sponsored the team’s trip to Austria. This journey could not have been possible without this company’s support. Our two riders showed determination in Austria where they were competing against the best in the sport. There were 900 professional riders in the race and to finish 39th is quite an achievement.
“Khantši had some health problems and did not take part on the last day of the competition, but all in all, the two riders impressed their peers and organisers and indeed, did this country proud,” Masia said.
According to Masia, world champion Christoph Sauser of Switzerland gave his second prize trophy to Monese as a token of great sportsmanship and appreciation of the rider’s performance.
On his part, Monese said the race was tough but had been impressed by his performance.
“I was riding against the best; the track was also very technical with steep hills but I am happy with how I performed,” Monese said.
“I think my speed helped me and I was very good again when going uphill, although I lacked endurance, which affected my position.”
Monese said he hoped his Four Peaks experience would help him and fellow Basotho riders going forward.
“That experience is very vital; it was not the first time we were competing against the best because we were at the Commonwealth Games in Scotland last year where we did not do well at all, but look how much we have grown now in the sport! We must ensure that exposure will help us and our fellow riders here at home,” said Monese.
Alliance Insurance Sales and Marketing manager Limakatso Mokobocho said the company was proud to be associated with the two riders.
“I am proud to be standing in front of these gentlemen following their impressive run in Europe. They were competing against the best in the world, which means they are also the best and that makes us proud as a company to be associated with the best. As Alliance, it is part of our social responsibility to help in the development of sport. We are very humbled to see that now our riders are improving and hopefully, very soon, they will be ranked number one in Africa,” Mokobocho said.
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