The annual Gem Diamonds Kalahari Challenge mountain bike race dubbed the “The Magwinya Express” is on from June 9 to 11. The nickname comes from its reasonable entrance fees for local cyclists.
Its aim is to prepare riders for the southern Africa circuit. The event was introduced in 2005.
Race director Seamus O’Neil said the route would be challenging this time around A detour will be made at the Gaborone Dam were the water level is high after the previous rains.
“The 237km route is a tough 2 400m of uphill biking, while the other route goes 185km of 1 300m,” he said.
The race is open to juniors (Under19s); open (19-29 years); sub-veterans (30-39 years), veterans (40-49 years) and masters (50+years). Cyclists may enter in the mixed, women, or single categories and the entries close on May 5.
SuperSport will cover the race complete with large TV screens for spectators, making it the only cycling event in Botswana to have this capacity and thereby promoting Botswana as a tourism destination.
The race was nominated as a one of the sixth finalists for the African Sponsorship of Year by the Discovery Sport Industry Award 2016.
A “Community Support Programme” where the funds raised are channelled for developing communities along the race route has been formed.
The race is sponsored by Stanbic Bank Botswana, Avani Gaborone Resort and Casino, Scania Botswana, Bokomo and St Louis, among others.