Lesotho Sky celebrates 5th anniversary & Class 1 UCI race status

The Lesotho Sky Race goes into it’s 5th edition this year and will be taking place from 20th – 25th September 2015. The event has been a UCI stage race since 2013, a strategy which has resulted in international and South African professional MTB teams competing in the race in 2013 and 2014. Moreover Basotho riders have the chance of earning valuable UCI points and as a result, Lesotho managed to leapfrog Namibia and is now ranked 2nd in Africa (in Mountain Biking) behind South Africa.
As of this year the Lesotho Sky Race will be a Class 1 UCI stage race, meaning the winning riders (male and female teams) will each earn 120 points. The total amount of UCI prize monies at the Lesotho Sky 2015 add up to ZAR 200,000.

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The Lesotho Sky is designed for riders that are passionate about mountain biking. Every year the race hosts professional and amateur teams alike, whereby the amateur teams make up 80% of the field. Like veins of the mountains, a network of trails connects rural villages and communities and makes the experience of riding the Lesotho Sky Race like no other. Lesotho is a country free of fences and boundaries. This land belongs to the proud Basotho people and is there for anyone to enjoy and respect. This race has been designed by proper mountain bike fanatics and prides itself with using 100% natural single track in a place where the only other mode of transport is feet and hooves.

Development of cycling sport in Lesotho is at the heart of the Lesotho Sky Race. The local cycling league is very competitive and 7 teams from Lesotho qualify each year for a fully sponsored UCI entry to the Lesotho Sky Race. Thanks to the Lesotho Sky race, the local qualifying league as well as the first professional MTB team in Lesotho, also known as ACE-Team, the skills and racing tactics of the local teams have improved dramatically. This could be seen by the Basotho team riding for main sponsor Alliance Insurance Company, which came 2nd overall in the 2014 edition of the race.

Apart from the race, cycling in Lesotho is growing more popular every day. Perhaps inspired by the growth of the sport in South Africa and other parts of the world, more and more Basotho invest into bicycles for themselves and their kids. Many corporate and community clubs meet up for rides several times a week. During the Lesotho Sky Race countless spectators in the city but also in communities along the route come out and cheer for the riders. The first day of the Lesotho Sky Race is a 24km urban Time-Trial through the capital city Maseru, after which the race moves into mountain territory for the remaining 5 days.

The total distance is 350km with 8900m ascent. Lodged entries are already sold out. Camping entries for a team of 2 riders are selling for ZAR 20,000. This includes 6 nights accommodation and all meals. Mechanical service packages and physio packages need to be booked separately and paid cash at registration.
The entries are limited to 60 teams (120 riders).

Sign-up now and test yourself against some of Africa’s best mountain bikers.

Come explore the #MountainBikeKingdom

http://lesothosky.com/enter-2015/




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