The 2018 edition of the annual Mascom Cycle Challenge is scheduled to take place this coming Sunday at the Gaborone CBD Complex.The organizers of the cycling challenge, Tsela Riders Chairman, Charles Vaughan said they want to bring out an exciting event on the day.
Vaughan told BG Sport this week that there has been less road races this year due to lack of sponsors, “We are trying to push cycling awareness and hence the reason that the race starts and finishes in town at the CBD complex,” he said.
The Tsela Riders Chairman said that many are scared of cycling because they feel it is a dangerous sport. He noted that even the bad state of some roads made it hard to convince potential cyclists to sign up. “We need to do all that we can to ensure that there are enough marshals on the day. We cannot afford to make anybody unhappy because even the sponsors need to be impressed for them to continue this partnership,” he said.
Vaughan said they expect about 200 cyclists to participate at the event that normally attracts international cyclists. Meanwhile, the main sponsor of the event mobile phone service providers Mascom has injected a whopping P250 000 towards the event.
Mascom has remained a committed sponsor of the cycle challenge for the past four years.
Vaughan said it was only through the efforts of Mascom that the event has managed to grow from strength to strength. Among cyclists that will participate at the event is the defending champion, Abeng Malete of Botswana. Malete promises to do anything in his power to retain his crown.Despite being humiliated by South African competitors recently at the Jwaneng cycle challenge, Malete said his body is ready for the weekend challenge.
Malete is a top local cyclist not intimidated by competition, “The SA guys are my friends and I look forward to facing them again on Sunday. They help me remain focused and work more on my speed,” He recorded a time of 2:43:00 last year and wants to aim for 2:30:00 this year.