South African television sports channel Super Sport is expected to cover this year’s Gem Diamonds Kalahari Cycle challenge scheduled for the 9th – 11th June 2017.
The action packed mountain bike event has grown in leaps and bounds and coverage from an international sports channel is expected to not only promote cycling in Botswana but also paint the country as a cycling tourism destination.
Launching the event at Avani Gaborone Hot & Casino in Gaborone earlier this week, the race director Seamus O’Neill said they went the extra mile to empower locals by trying to increase their participation in one of the biggest and best mountain bike riding events in Botswana.
O’Neil said the aim is to build a base of local riders who will be able to compete confidently in the southern African cycling scenes. The challenge is made up of the 60km and the 70, 80 and 90km races. O’ Neil added that during the three-day race, the riders will be expected to manoeuvre through sandy, stony and bushy areas, the race will begin from Lion Park Resort, head through Sentlane farms and down the Mokolodi tarmac road. Areas which will be affected by the race include Mogobane, Mmankgodi and Lekgolobotlo Villages.
On the last day of the race, riders will follow a fast-flowing route home through the Aloe single track back to the Lion Park, which will mark the end of the challenge. Categories expected on the day include men aged 19 – 29, Sub-Vets from 30 – 39, Veterans 40 – 49, and masters aged 50+. There will also be mixed women categories.
Meanwhile local cyclists will get a 50 percent entry fee discount of the standard rate prize. Popularly known as a sport of mountain biking and considered one of the toughest races in Africa, the standard rate for registration is P6 000 for individuals and P10 000 for teams. Meaning participating local riders will be paying P4 000 per person and P8 000 for pairs.
The standard entry fee covers entry into the race, a four-man tent (team) or two-man tent (Solo) with mattress and bedding (sheets, pillow & blankets). It also includes Friday lunch & dinner, Saturday breakfast, lunch & dinner and Sunday breakfast at overnight campsite and a goodie bag & event t-shirt, plus other extras.
The registration for all participating cyclists will be at Avani Gaborone Hotel on Thursday 8th June 2017 from 14h00 until 19h00. Race Briefing from 19:00 and late Registration from 20h00 - 21h00. Registration is now open at www.kalaharichallenge.com and will close on the 5th of May. Stanbic Bank and Gem Diamonds are the major sponsors of the event while other sponsors include Kgalagadi Breweries, Scania Botswana, Avani Gaborone Resort &Casino, Medswana, Bokomo Botswana and GMR freights.