Multiple Lesotho cross-country cycling champion Tumelo Makae displayed positive performance during the 2022 Confederations African Mountain Bike Championship (CAMBC) in Windhoek, Namibia on Saturday, 23 April 2022.
Makae finished in 7th position out of 24 riders in the Elite Men’s category with a time of 01:40:18 after seven laps. The race was won by Namibian Alex Miller who clocked 01:29:02 followed by two South Africans Phillip Buys and Luke Michael Moir who clocked 01:30:38 and 01:33:46 respectively wrapping up the podium places.
The performance was a far better one compared to his recent showing at the Cross-Country Olympic that took place in Free State, South Africa where he had finished in 19th position and none of his compatriots could make it in the top 10.
Fellow countryman and former national MBT champion Phethetso Monese finished the race but was lapped by the eventual winner after six laps. He clocked 01:33:33 before calling it time on the race in the same category, while Eric Ramohanoe who was competing in the Under-23 Men was lapped during his fifth lap of six and finished in 01:19:38 a spot out of the top ten finishers.
After their under par showing at the South African leg, the Federation of Lesotho Cycling (FLC) Public Relations Officer (PRO) Malefane Morie told this publication that they decided to take the cyclists there to assess their readiness for competition in preparing for the CAMBC and were satisfied with what they saw.
“We are going to be preparing a team for the upcoming African Championships hence we needed to know where our top cyclists are at the moment,” Morie said.
Following the Namibia performance by the three top cyclists, Morie said based on their expectations the cyclists did fairly well despite the challenges.
“They performed well considering the preparations that we had, time and other challenges that they encountered during the race,” he said.
He mentioned that Monese experienced a mechanical problem with his bicycle which led to him being lapped and that disrupted the teamwork plan the riders had going into the race.
“Monese had a chain problem which was falling frequently and he kept falling behind the leading pack to a point where he was lapped. That problem disturbed their plan with Makae to a point where he collided with one of the South African cyclists.
“We believe if it was not for those incidents the two riders could have done exceptionally well especially Makae, we could have easily come back with at least a podium finish,” Morie said. The trip was financed by the federation with assistance from the Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC). Morie said now the focus shifts to assisting the road race champion Kabelo Makatile and Makae to qualify for the upcoming Commonwealth Games.