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Makae fails to come to the party

Chris Theko

Lesotho’s top cyclist, Tumelo Makae failed to complete his two races at the 2021 Union Cycliste Internationale(UCI)Mountain Bike (MBT) World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy.

The five days competition started on Wednesday and ended on Sunday.

Makae who is currently based in Switzerland started his campaign on Friday competing in the elite men’s E-MBT cross-country which was seven laps and was eliminated in the fourth lap.

In the overall results he managed to secure position 28 out 39 cyclists. 

The race was won by the Frenchman, Gellous Jerome who clocked 51:44 and was followed by fellow countryman, Pigeon Hugo who clocked 52:02.

The 26-year-old cyclist, Makae, was racing again on Saturday in the men’s elite MBT Cross-country where he finished 85th out of 92 riders. 

The Lesotho Cross Country champion was eliminated in the third of the six laps in the race. 

Last month Makae competed in the 2021 Transmaurienne International MBT competition in France where he put up an impressive performance. The performance which saw him finish in 17th place out of 121 cyclists could have easily got his spirits high coming into this competition but it proved not good enough. 

He had also competed in the 2021 Mercedes-Benz UCI MBT World Cup in France last month. However, in that particular race he was pulled out under the MBT competitions 80% rule which states that any cyclist whose time is 80% slower than that of the leader’s first lap should be withdrawn from the race. 

Makae said he went into the competition highly motivated and was expecting to perform well due to his preparation but was not to put himself under any pressure. 

“I will keep enjoying the competitions, improving my performance and gaining as much experience as I can while giving them my all” he said.

As part of the scholars under the Lesotho Tokyo 2020 Olympic Athletes solidarity scholarships which started in 2017, Makae has been based in Switzerland. His scholarship expired last month hence it remains unclear whether his stay in Switzerland is being extended.         

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