Organisers of Botswana’s latest cycling race, the Comma5 Cyclo Grand Prix (GP), say the race was a success.
Held on a chilly Sunday morning this past weekend at the Airport Junction Mall, the race treated local cycling enthusiasts who braced the weekend’s chilly weather to an enjoyable new cycling experience. The race, which was held in a 500 meters barricaded course in the mall’s parking lot, gave spectators what they have longed for in cycling races, viewing the race from start to finish.
According to Keith Marais, who is the mastermind behind the race, the event’s success exceeded expectations.
“This was a magnificent event. It was fantastic. Even though it was very cold, there was good support for the event,” Marais said.
Marais, who is the mastermind behind the race, said he was very happy with the turnout, more especially among the kids and juniors, something which he says bodes well for the sport of cycling.
“The aim of this race is to build a platform to get more people involved in cycling, not just to compete but also to promote healthy living, so we were very happy with the participation,” Marais said.
He added that what pleased him even more was the positive feedback he received from the participants, more especially the small number of international competitors who came for the event.
“They were very happy with the event and have promised to come back again next year. In fact, they were so happy they said they will be inviting many others to come for the next edition of the race,” he said.
The race founder said he expects to hold another great event in the coming year, adding that he has already received positive feedback from people who want to come on board as sponsors.
“What we aim to do now is to try getting more young people to compete in the race and even get them to take on the sport. This race gives young cycling enthusiasts a new experience to see other aspects of cycle racing which are part of Olympic sports other than road racing,” he added.
Marais pointed out that another aim will be to see the race attract as many international riders as possible.
Of the 200 entrants to the inaugural race, only six were non-citizens, with five riders from South Africa and one American. As part of the day’s proceedings, spectators were treated to spectacular daredevil stunts by South African extreme cyclist Dylan Victor.
Meanwhile, Angus Boxshall-Smith won the race’s Open Racing Category, with Kyle Poppleton and John Bennett came second and third, respectively, while Deborah Baillie won the ladies’ Open race.
The mountain bike category was won by Victor Potgieter followed by Rudolph de Wet and Garth Armstrong while Reza Armstrong came first in the event’s ladies category.
The Open Hamba category was won by Shawn Bruwer with Tambudzai Guta and Tawona Kamutimbe coming second and third. respectively.
By winning the Hamba category, Bruwer walked away with a P2 000 cash prize.
The junior boys and junior girls’ categories were won by Loic Julien and Roxanne Marais, respectively.
The race was sponsored by Comma 5 CRM with Airport Junction Mall coming in as another main sponsor.