According to the Federation of Cycling Lesotho (FCL) publicist Malefane Morie, the annual race is normally held in August or September but was this time around postponed when all local sporting activities were banned in March because of the pandemic.
“We could have held the race sooner after the ban on sporting activities was lifted but we decided to shift it to December to allow our defending champion, Tumelo Makae who is based in Switzerland to be back for the tournament,” he said, adding they could not hold the event without the national champion.
Makae arrived in Lesotho two weeks ago for the Christmas holiday.
“He could not fly to Lesotho earlier due to air transport restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 lockdown in Switzerland,” Morie also said.
Makae is currently based at the International Cycling Union (UCI) Training Centre, where he trains under the Olympic Solidarity Athlete Scholarship through the Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC).
Before defending his title in the upcoming event, the cyclist who is a member of the Sufferfest African Dream Team will compete in another race in South Africa on December 5.
Morie said the federation decided to make registrations for the December 12 event through online to avoid the issue of competitors queuing up on the competition day.
“We are highly committed to observing COVID-19 protocols before and during the event, hence we prohibit sharing of bicycles, helmets, pumps or any tools during the event,” he also noted.
The competitors, he said will be screened before and after the show, adding that no spectators will watch the race.