Local cycling enthusiasts are expected to converge on Otse this coming Sunday to compete in the inaugural 120 km Cycle Challenge 2011.
The event, which is organised by Tsela Riders Cycling Club and is expected to be turned into an annual event, will be the first and longest one-day event in the country.
Speaking in an interview, the Chairman of Tsela Riders Club, Nathan Kgadi, said the cycling event will be one of the most challenging events ever in the local cycling arena.
“This is an event of firsts, the first ever event of its kind to be organised by our club as well as the first event to cover 120 km in the country,” Kgadi said.
According to the Tsela Riders Club Chairman, preparations for the inaugural event are at an advanced stage and it is expected that the event will be a success.
“Sponsors have already put up pledges and most of them have already fulfilled their pledges while we expect others to have fulfilled their pledges by the end of this week. We expect to have finalised the last preparations by the end of this week,” he added.
Kgadi says despite it being at its birth, the event has already sparked a lot of interest among local cyclists and many across the country are expected to take part.
The weekend’s race will see cyclists tackling a road terrain that will take them from Otse Police College to Kanye and back through the villages of Mogobane, Ntlhantlhe and Ranaka.
“This race is different from the ones we have had in the past in that the road we have chosen is very challenging. Riders taking part in this event will have to overcome the toughest terrain that has several hills and at some areas strong winds as well as the summer heat,” Kgadi added.
He added that with these tough conditions in mind, the organisers of the event have pulled all stops to ensure the safety of riders is not compromised.
“We will have Medical Assist at hand to provide medical aid as well as the Police to ensure safety of our riders. We will also have water points at every 30 km interval on the track where riders can refill their water,” the Club chairman added.
To accommodate those who are interested in competing but cannot do the 120 km challenge, Kgadi says they will also have a 50 km race. On prizes, Kgadi says the winners and runners up of the 120 km challenge in both men and women events will walk away with trophies while the winners of the 50 km race will be awarded medals.
The event will start at 0630 hrs on Sunday morning.
Kgadi has called upon Batswana to come support the race, saying the event will provide a very good outing and fun day for the family. Apart from the race, Kgadi says there will be entertainment and traditional cuisine will be on sale at the event.