Three qualify for Roof of Africa race

Three qualify for Roof of Africa race

MASERU – Three local riders have booked their places at the 2018 Roof of Africa set for December after qualifying from the Roof’s Bronze Qualifiers held last Saturday in Ha Ramabanta.  The three qualifiers are good news for Lesotho because it means the host nation will have at least five representatives at the annual showpiece off-road race, the most the country has had in recent years.

\The three riders – Basia Maseatile, Timello Tšolo and Tobatsi Maseatile – sealed their spots at the race dubbed the ‘Mother of Hard Enduro’ after being part of 150 riders who made the cut from an original list of 280 hopefuls.
They are expected to be joined in December’s main event by Silver class riders Joseph Motenane and Teboho Moretlo who like the more seasoned Gold riders only need to register online to enter the race.

Basia Maseatile was Lesotho’s best performer at the qualifiers finishing in 40th position while Tšolo, who was attempting to qualify for the first time, was delighted just to finish the gruelling test. Tšolo told thepost on Tuesday he is happy with his performance as it was his first go at qualifying for the Roof of Africa.

“The first loop wasn’t really that difficult but what made it hard was the bottlenecks because when you get to the bottlenecks the riders are many and we have to wait for each other to pass, so you have to manage and maintain your time,” he said. “If you were number 200 when we started you would probably finish 200 unless you overtake some riders on your way,” Tšolo added.

He added: “It was also raining and slippery and that’s what made it difficult and the other challenge, especially in the second loop, was the shepherds on the way. They removed signs that were meant to guide us but we had GPS so for me I was able to realise quickly that they were trying to make us take a wrong route, and in some places when you were stuck we had to ask for help from the shepherds and they wouldn’t help you if you don’t have anything to pay them with. I had sweets with me I got to the finish point with nothing. If I didn’t pay they would have not helped me out when I was stuck, but all in all besides the weather and all that it was good, fought from the beginning to the end,” he said.

Tšolo said he has a few races lined up over the coming month including a GXCC Race set for May 26 in South Africa at a venue to be announced. Tšolo will also race at the South African nationals next month. Meanwhile, Silver class rider Motenane used the Bronze Qualifier as practice for December’s main event and to also help other Lesotho riders because he wanted as many local riders to qualify as possible.
Motenane added that his preparations for the Roof have already started and are going well.

Luciah Phahla

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