BRITISH rider Graham Jarvis will headline a group of top riders at the 2016 edition of Roof Africa off-road motorcycle race which gets underway next week on Thursday.
Lesotho Off-road Association (LORA) public relations officer, Kekeletso Malebo said all was in place for one of the world’s toughest motor races with the route already “marked and we are just putting final touches to everything.”
“There are top riders who will be competing in this race for the very first time so it shows that we are moving in the right direction as far as growth is concerned,” Malebo said.
He said the race followed an extremely challenging course through rugged terrain, hence its enduring popularity with international riders from Europe and other parts of the world who will be aiming to wrest the title from Jarvis.
“Jarvis remains the main man having won this race for a number of years, but he faces tough competition from top riders including one from Spain,” Malebo said.
“Wade Young who made history in 2012 as the youngest winner of the race at the age of 16 is another rider set to provide fierce competition.
“We will also give the public and the media the platform to interact with all the riders on Wednesday at Pioneer Mall.”
He said the “only sad part” was that only one local rider, Joseph Motenane, would participate in this year’s edition- a significant decline given the fact that last year’s event attracted six local riders.
Malebo said the event was more than just a race as it boosted tourism by attracting visitors to the country and thus contributed to economic growth.
“There is a lot that this country will get from tourists that are usually in the country for the whole week of the race as some will arrive this weekend.
“They spend a lot on accommodation, fuel and many other things.
“The race will also be broadcast in Europe which means that more people will get to know about our country and its tourist attractions,” he said.
The Round the House will kick start the event on Thursday and spectators will be treated to eight races of three laps each starting at Maseru club.
The hard enduro races will be held on Friday and Saturday. They will start and finish at the Bushman Pass at Lekhalong la Baroa.