Jwaneng — Local cyclists have been advised to keep working hard to be the best in the region.
The advice was rendered by Clint Hendricks, the winner of this year's Jwaneng Mine GM Cycle Race in Jwaneng on February 16.
Speaking in a post-race interview, Hendricks indicated that he and his countryman, Nolan Hoffman, who got position two, were among the best in the region, and that local cyclists should not feel bad after losing to them.
"Am not trying to brag or anything, but to be honest, Hoffman and I are among the best cyclists in South Africa, and the local cyclists should know that as long as they are able to come close to us, then they could beat the best," he said.
He therefore advised them to regularly participate in competitions. Concerning the race in general, Hendricks said that despite the challenging weather, the new route was more enjoyable compared to the previous times.
"I would like more of this kind of terrain as it also had spectacular scenery, so I would be happy to be back again. The local boy, Abeng Maleta, who came third, decried the heavy headwinds that characterised the Sunday weather.
"About 85 per cent of the race we faced a heavy headwind, otherwise we could have registered better times. Personally am not a flat terrain cyclist, but enjoy more climbs, so this race was flat all the way, but my dedication and hard work carried me through," he said.
Concerning what they needed to compete against the dominant South Africans, Maleta indicated that they needed training camps with them so that they could benchmark on how they train and prepare for races.
He said his main focus would now be the Kgosi Malope Cycle Challenge on Sunday, where he said he aimed to perform better, as it was his favourite terrain.
The ladies 120km category was won by Bakang Ebadilwe of Tsela Riders.
Meanwhile, the widow of the late Debswana General Manager, Albertina Milton said that they were committed to keeping Albert Milton's legacy alive, as he was passionate about cycling and charity.
She indicated that her late husband was passionate about giving back to the less privileged members of the society.
"He was someone who hated to see other people in dire need, so we are determined to keep what he loved going. Even though this race was physically taxing with all its challenges, everything was outweighed by the fact that we were doing it for charity, which is the main drive" she said.
The General Manager of Debswana Jwaneng Mine, Koolatotse Koolatotse indicated that the annual race, which has been in existence since 2011, was meant to empower the community in the periphery of the mining town, especially on issues of water, education and shelter, as they are considered basic needs.
"We would like to appreciate all the participants who graced the race today because they did their part in helping our cause," he said.
Koolatotse said that they had not yet identified any beneficiary for this year's race. "We have nothing specific at the moment, but obviously we will be focusing on the basic needs that I mentioned," he said.
Source : BOPA