Sunday, March 3, 2024

Local cyclists set to pedal for national crowns

All cycling tracks lead to the Old Gaborone Landfill (Dumping Site) this coming weekend where Botswana’s finest cyclists are expected to battle it out to be crowned National champions.

At stake will be the bragging rights to be named the country’s national champion as well as a shot at wearing the national colours as Botswana’s representative in international competitions.

Speaking in an interview, Botswana Cycling Association (BCA) Public Relations Officer (PRO) Kagiso Potongwane said winners of the Nationals are also considered first when development opportunities arise.

According to Potongwane, they are expecting the best cyclists from BCA’s affiliated clubs to be part of the event.

“The event will be divided into categories as is the norm in cycling. We will have male and female cyclists competing in categories such as Youth, Junior, Under 23, Senior, Sub Veterans and Veterans,” he explained.

While the BCA PRO did not have the names of star cyclists who will compete at the Nationals, if results of the past weekend’s Dimension Data Route 73 Cycle Challenge are anything to go by, spectators at the BCA National will be in for a treat.

Perhaps with the national championships on mind, the country’s up and coming cyclists had opted not to contend the rigorous 73km races at the Dimension Data race but rather competed in the 50km races.

Despite this, the young riders posited some electrifying performances that left many salivating at the prospect of seeing them on the track during the national championships this coming weekend.

Young Lebopo Mompe showed he will be one to watch among the youth at the Nationals as he clocked 2 hours 49 minutes and 57 seconds in the 50km Youth race.

He will however expect to be pushed to the finish line by the duo of Kopano Kgosibodiba and Lefika Marumo, who finished second and third respectively behind him at the Dimension Data Route 73 Cycle Challenge.

Another interesting matchup to look forward to at this weekend’s Nationals will be between twins Kaone and Kabo Ramahobo in the Junior category.

During the Dimension Data Route 73 Cycle Challenge, the gifted twins gave spectators something to cheer about as they went pedal for pedal to the finish line. The two clocked the time of 2 hours 58 minutes and 15 minutes each, with photo finish needed to separate them.

Other young cyclists expected to light up the weekend nationals will be the duo of Arnold Kokwane and Abeng Malete.

During the weekend race, Kokwane and Malete were the first of locals to cross the line in the 50km open race.

Kokwane completed his 50km circuit in 2 hours 19 minutes and 20 seconds, just four minutes ahead of Malete who finished in 2 hours 23 minutes and 22 seconds.

In the ladies section, all eyes will be in Botswana’s Switzerland based youngster Bakang Ebudilwe. The local lass, who is now based at the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) World Cycling Centre is expected to jet into the country this week to compete in the nationals.


Read this week's paper