Covid-19 knocks out race

Covid-19 knocks out race

MASERU-The annual Lesotho Sky Race has been postponed to September next year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Although the announcement was expected, it is still a blow to local cycling which will see its yearly showpiece off the books for the first time in a decade.

Christian Schmidt, who is the founder of Sky Events which runs the Lesotho Sky Race, said last month that organisers were weighing up their options and waiting to see if the global COVID-19 situation improves.

The Lesotho Sky Race is frequented by riders from around the world and organisers were hoping the pandemic would ease and allow for foreign cyclists to come to Lesotho.

However, that has not happened. European riders have cancelled their entries due to travel and accommodation issues and the race was officially postponed to 2021 on Tuesday.

“It is with a heavy heart that we have decided to postpone the 10th anniversary edition of Lesotho Sky by one year,” Sky Events said in a statement.

“The new dates are 20th-25th September 2021. We believe that this is the best way we can be proactive in this situation,” it continued.
This year was set be the 10th edition of the Lesotho Sky Race which has grown from strength to strength since it was first staged in 2011.

The race is now accredited as a ‘category 1’ event by the International Cycling Union (UCI) which means it carries global ranking points for participants.

“The past months have been very unpredictable and this uncertainty is something that we expect to continue to deal with for some time,” Sky Events said.

“It affects most aspects of our work in the tourism, sports and events industry locally and internationally,” statement said.

A gruelling race that covers 340 kilometres in six days, the Lesotho Sky has attracted riders from as far afield as Holland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia, Germany and United States

It is a fully supported event, including accommodation, meals, water points and world-class medical support along the route.

Tlalane Phahla

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