Tzaneen — Cyclists, who recently participated in the Tour de Limpopo UCI Africa tour 2.2 stage in South Africa, are happy that the competition gave them experience and exposure.
In an interview, Thabiso Mokalake of Team Swift Botswana who went as far as stage three in the four stage race, said such races prepared them mentally and physically.
Mokalake said he went through tough races especially the first stage since it was a long 175km stretch, from Bela Bela to Polokwane.
On the second 96km race from Polokwane to Tzaneen, Mokalake said it was a fast race for him although with a few mountains, compared to the third stage which he described as tough.
Although he managed to keep up with the peloton, it was tough at the mountain where he said he could no longer keep up.
Mokalake who also participated in 2018 Tour de Limpopo said there has been a great deal of improvement for him.
"Compared to last year, I was able to keep up with the peloton for a long time," he stated saying that last he year dropped in the very first kilometers of the race, but now he was able to push more and even dropped at third stage.
Mokalake also said races like these prepared them as cyclists to perform well locally.
He will be going for National Time Trials in Lobatse on May 25, and he said tour de Limpopo race was a great training for him.
Team Swift Manager, David Lebalelo concurred with his riders that a race like this was a learning curve for them.
Lebalelo said moving forward, they would continue their working relations with Pro Touch team as they planned on a training session in South, Africa for local cyclists.
Lebalelo said Team Swift was developing cyclists, therefore their working relations with teams like Pro Touch always brought in new opportunities for their riders.
Team Swift had sent six riders to Tour de Limpopo 2019, with Lloyd Molale, Mokalake and Daniel Kelaotswe from Botswana, as well as development riders Henry Neethling from Pro Touch, Etnard Louw and Wynand Deppenaar both from Mad Macs in Cape Town.
For his part, Cycling South Africa general manager, Mike Bradley said this year's challenge had attracted a quality of cyclists, indicating that cyclists were working hard, and not giving each other a chance as teams were working well together.
Tour de Limpopo cycle challenge is an initiative of Limpopo Tourism Agency, and it showcases the scenic beauty of Limpopo Province.
The race was in its second edition and had attracted 18 continental teams with well over 124 cyclists from around the world.
<i>Source : BOPA</i>