sports

Sept. 20, 2021

TEBOHO JAFETA

3 min read

Howel to contest at 10th Lesotho Sky race

Howel to contest at 10th Lesotho Sky race

Top Lesotho cyclist, Phetetso Monese

Story highlights

  • Non-competitive event to continue behind closed doors
  • The 246 km long route to be broken down into five stages

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SOUTH African born rider and Lesotho Sky event co-founder, Darol Howel who is now based in Switzerland will ride in his first ever Lesotho Sky Event on a bicycle during the 10th edition of the race on Monday, September 20 after spending the previous years as the director of this big cycling race in Lesotho.

One of the event organisers, Chris Schmidt of Sky Events told Metro that they have been given the go ahead by the Ministry of Health to host the race, adding that due to a confirmed COVID-19 case in the timing crew this week, the organisers resolved that this year’s edition will proceed as a non-competitive event behind closed doors with a small field of 20 local and international riders expected at the start on Monday in Malealea.  

In a statement released on Tuesday, Schmidt said the majority of international riders has postponed to next year due to travel restrictions. He also said the six-day event will run until Saturday, with Alliance Insurance being the main sponsor.

“Pick n Pay Maseru is the Waterpoint sponsor while Malealea Lodge and Semonkong Lodge are accommodation partners.  

“The event comprises a total of 30 participants inclusive of the crew from hosts Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States of Amerika (USA), Germany and Switzerland. The total route is 246 km long with 7500m of vertical climbing and broken down into five stages such that the riders will start with the 49.5 km loop from Malealea to Matelile for two days until Tuesday, followed by a 53.2km loop from Malealea to Ribaneng on Wednesday, before taking the 44.7 km route from Semonkong to Eastern on Friday then finish with the 39.4 km route from Semonkong to ’Maletsunyane on Saturday,” Schmidt noted.  

He further highlighted that this year’s edition will mark the shortest route ever for the event, adding it is however much tougher due a higher amount of technical demanding trails and less gravel road.  

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“A photographer and videographer will accompany the event and we will share daily updates on social media and a professional masseuse will offer massaging and stretching therapy while the mechanical support will be offered for the first time by Lesotho Bike Hangar managed by Lesotho’s first female bicycle mechanic, Nthati Letsie.  Any profits of the event will go towards re-opening of Sky Cycling League as soon as COVID-19 regulations allow. 

The race will feature several prominent riders such as Lesotho’s Phethetso Monese who is the winner of the Lesotho Sky 2019 race and the only rider in the world to start at all 10 Lesotho Sky Events.  

The event will also see Tebello Mofa, one of only two female Basotho riders to ever complete the Lesotho Sky Event, making her second appearance at the event after completing successfully in 2017 and two riders Marcel Frei from Switzerland alongside a female South African Petruschka Constancon who will be making their debut at this year’s edition.  

 

 

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