Botswana’s premier three day cycling event, Builders World Botswana Classic will take place from the 29th to the 31st of this month. The race, which is organised by Tsela Riders and sponsored by The World Group of Companies, is expected to attract cyclists from across the region. Speaking at a press briefing, the Chairperson of Tsela Riders, Game Mompe, said aside from local cyclists, organisers are expecting teams from countries such as South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe to grace the event. While last year’s race had at least 90 registered cyclists for the main event, the Tsela Riders Chairperson said for this year, the organisers are targeting to have 200 cyclists competing in this year’s main event.
According to the organisers, both these counts do not include those who participate in fun run and kiddies’ events. “If we factor in those numbers, we are expecting a large turnout for this year’s event as it was with last year’s,” Mompe explained. Modeled in the form of popular international races, the Builders World Botswana Classic is the only three day event in Botswana and is raced in four stages. The race starts with a time trial prologue on the first day before going into two events staged day, a 74 km road race and a one hour circuit race on the morning and afternoon of the second day respectively.
The event finishes with a grueling 109 km road race stage race on the third and final day. According to Mompe, this year’s first time trial event will be held at the Central Business District (CBD) in Gaborone and will find cyclists competing against time on a 4 km long one lap circuit starting at the three chiefs’ statue. The race will then move to Boatle on the second day for a 74 km road race, which will see cyclists ride from to Mmankgodi before finishing the race at the Taung Hill in Boatle. The event will then move back into the Gaborone CBD in the afternoon for a one hour circuit race. As with international cycling events, the organisers say there will be jersey classifications in the race.
For the Builders World Botswana Classic, the race’s overall leader will don a Yellow jersey; the best hill/mountain climber will get a polka dot jersey while the best sprinter will get a green jersey. The overall winner of the event will win P4 000 prize money, while second and third will walk away with P2 500 and P1 500 in that succession. The winners in each of the race’s four stages will win P1000 prize money for each stage. For his part, Builders World Director, Imraan Sardar said the World Group of Companies will be sponsoring the event to a tune of P200 000, an amount equivalent to the one the company sponsored last year’s event with.
He said the sponsorship is World Group of Companies contribution to sport development in the country, alluding that the companies have been involved in local sport as sponsors for many years now.
He said over the years, the World Group of Companies has sponsored sporting codes such as football and Karate among others. The briefing was graced by among others, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the World Group of Companies Salim Shaik, Trade World Managing Director Ishmael Marzook, Tsela Riders Secretary Patrick Tshomane and Tsela Riders additional Committee member Selaelo Shubane. Other sponsors of the cycling event are Steel Junction, Caltex as well as Kgalagadi Breweries Limited (KBL).