It was a case of same script, same cast and same outcome this past weekend at the Botswana Cycling Association (BCA) National Championships as the usual suspects dominated proceedings.
As was perhaps expected, there were no surprises in this past weekend’s event as it was the same faces who finished in the podium.
In the men’s youth category, Lebopo Mompe continued his meteoritic rise to cycling stardom with a dominant display as he successfully defended the title he won last year.
Mompe, who already has the National Youth Time trials and Dimension Data youth titles under his belt, was a cut above his competitors, finishing his race a solid five (5) minutes ahead of Kopano Kgosibodiba who finished second while Kitso Moseki finished third.
The young Mompe finished his three lap race in 54 minutes and 57 seconds, while Kgosibodiba and Moseki finished in 1 hour and 2 seconds and 1 hour 4 minutes and 4 seconds respectively.
It was more of the same in the Junior men’s category where Letlamoreng Ikaneng easily won the race. Ikaneng finished the 4 laps in the junior category in 1 hour 17 minutes and 59 seconds.
Second behind him was Mohammed Noor in 1 hour 19 minutes and 22 seconds, while Sandile Slave finished the race in 1 hour 27 minutes and 57 seconds to clinch the last podium position.
In a fiercely fought and controversial battle in the Under 23 Men’s category, it was Abeng Malete who emerged victorious, relegating Arnold Kokwane and Tshepo Sentsho to second and third positions respectively.
After losing the same category to Kokwane at the Dimension Data cycling championships last weekend, Malete went into the race seeking nothing but a win and he did so here, albeit leaving his close competitor protesting the result.
However, despite being accused of cutting corners, the end result saw Malete closely edge Kokwane. Malete finished the 6 laps’ men Under 23 category in 1 hour 49 minutes and 5 seconds while Kokwane finished a mere 35 seconds behind him. The duo was closely followed by Tshepo Sentsho who finished third in 1 hour 53 minutes and 2 seconds.
In the men’s elite category, Gontse Lethokwe continued his dominance as he finished his six (6) laps in 1 hour 37 minutes and 58 seconds, way ahead of second placed Thato Madimabe who completed the 6 laps course in 1 hour 45 minutes and 14 seconds.
In the women’s elite category, UCI based Bakang Ebudilwe was peerless as she finished her four lap course in 1 hour 22 minutes and 34 seconds, more than ten minutes ahead of her closest rival Gobona Mantle who finished in 1 hour 33 minutes and 31 seconds.
Speaking in an interview following the event, BCA Secretary General Tlamelo Dube hailed the event as a success, adding they were happy with the performances of local cyclists.
The BCA Secretary General added that the event would help the locals to gain some valuable points as they seek to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. “This is the only event locally which provides our own cyclists with an opportunity to gain points if they want to qualify for the Olympics. Therefore, all winners have gained points which will be recorded by the UCI and will be added to any other points they may accrue in other UCI sanctioned races,” Dube explained.
Dube further said the winners of the event will get first consideration when the association selects the national team to represent the country at the continental cycling completion which is billed for Namibia next year.