The race starts with a prologue stage, which is a time trial that would be held at the Gaborone CBD on May 12. The second stage is scheduled for Taung (Ramotswa) to Mmankgodi, where riders would do 84km. The third stage of the race, which is the criterium of 45 minutes would be at the CBD. The last lap of the race is on May 14 starting at Sebele Mall to Mosaditshwene, to complete the 120km challenge.Speaking during the sponsorship launch yesterday, Tsela Riders chairperson, Charles Vaughan said the partnership with World Group of Companies started in 2014. He said cycling is growing at an impressive rate in Botswana.
He said they expect cyclists from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Swaziland to attend the competition.“There is a hill at Taung, which is used as an obstacle for the cyclists. They know what I am talking about.You need to ride over that hill five times and at the end we need a winner. At CBD we need cyclists to ride at full speed.The last lap of the challenge needs endurance from the cyclists and we expect them to be very fast. Remember that our bicycles are not motorised, you paddle with your legs,” he said.
He said the Botswana Classic has all elements such as sprints,flats, hills and distance.He said the cycling challenge is high speed chasing with technicalities.Vaughan said cyclists would accumulate points during the stages of the race until the final winner is picked in the end.Vaughan said in the last race, the route was in Lobatse where cyclists did 100km.
Meanwhile, the race would be without dominant women cyclist, Anouk van der Geest.But despite her absence, Vaughan said there are some women cyclists who stand a better chance of emulating Van deer Geest. The former Tsela Riders cyclist has since relocated from Botswana.Meanwhile, World Group of Companies chief executive officer (CEO), Salim Shaikh said his group of companies has always been at the forefront of sport development.He said they have assisted various sporting codes such as cricket and football.
Classifications and prizes: general classification: Position one: P5,000, Position two (P3,500), third position: (P2,500). Women: Position one: (P5,000), second position: (P3,500), third position (P2,500). Juniors (men and women): Position one: P3,000, Position two: P2,000 and the third position is P1,500.Prize money is also available for different categories such as sub vets (31-39 years), vets (40-49 years), Under-17 boys and girls for the road stages only.
The challenge is sponsored by Steel Junction, Trade World, Caltex, Builders World with medical assistance from MedRescue Botswana.
Source : MMEGI NEWSPAPER