The president of the Gaborone Cycling Club (GCC), Peter Sekwale, believes the club’s developmental riders are ready for the grueling JoBerg2C nine cycling challenge.
The club has sent two development riders, Jabu Tabulane and Tumisang Ramasankate, to compete in the grueling nine days cycle challenge, stretching a distance of over 900 kilometers from Johannesburg to Durban. At least more than 300 teams, made up of 600 cyclists are expected to compete in the challenge’s team event.
Speaking in an interview, Sekwale said the duo has trained well for the race and he is optimistic they can perform above expectations.
“Our expectations for the two cyclists are that they can at least come within the top 100 at the race. We did not want to put them under unnecessary pressure by having high expectations for them as this will be their first entry in the race. We are, however, optimistic that they can exceed the expectations and do much better,” Sekwale said.
He added that while the two cyclists are relatively new in the cycling challenge of JoBerg2C caliber, they are both strong cyclists with potential to do well. With over 10 years of cycling experience, Tabulane is the most experienced of the two and has won several races both in the local and regional competitions. Though also a very strong cyclist himself, Ramasankate, on the other hand, is relatively new in the cycling circuit and it is expected that his teaming with the more experienced Tabulane will help grow him as a cyclist.
Sekwale says another reason for optimism that the duo can do well is that they have trained well and put in the necessary hours of training.
“To attempt this race, you have to put in at least 20 hours of training a week and the two have done that. As with every Motswana athlete, these athletes are working and they do not have enough time to train. As such, most of the training they did was at night and they had to do at least 100 km of cycling a day, which is the distance they will cover almost daily during the nine days of the JoBerg2C,” he said.
Sekwale says the duo of Tabulane and Ramasankate, who will be making their debut at the JoBerg2C challenge have been training with veteran local cyclist, Seamus O’Neill, who has already done the race in the past in preparation for the cycling challenge.
To compete in the challenge, Tabulane and Ramasankate have been sponsored by Old Mutual & Federal Botswana. The insurance giants, who are part of the Old Mutual Group, have paid an estimated R22 000 for the two cyclists’ participation fee in the race. The cyclists’ other sponsors are Botswana Cycling Association as well as the Gaborone Cycling Club. Meanwhile, Sekwale says apart from the team of Tabulane and Ramasankate, his club will have three more teams competing at the cycling event. The three teams are O’Neill and Andy Pegg, Angus Boxshall-Smith and Richard Corudhlan as well as the team of Warren Lane and Sean Ryan.