Entries are open for 2014 and strictly limited to 40 teams. 15 Lodged and 25 Camping. Don’t miss out…
Dates: 21st to 26th September 2014
The final stage of the Lesotho Sky would involve a circular route of 60km starting and finishing in Roma. The rain had finally arrived and riders were geared up in anticipation of a very muddy ride. With the positions at the front of field pretty much signed and sealed, Fridays stage was a mere procession though more wonderful landscape and challenging terrain.Check out the epic video for Lesotho Sky’s final stage:
The rain came down intermittently and never really caused any real challenges along the way. Riders had the privilege of riding through The Keyhole, an iconic landmark on the Roof of Africa race, and once again passed through many local villages where the enthusiasm and support was amazing. Our participants rode passed a large bunch of children and they loudly burst into song and cheered on their way. Special memories of a special country and a special race. It’s worth mentioning that various community projects have sprung out of this race and explains a lot around why the local people are appreciative for having us riders cycling through their country.The Prize Giving
All riders crossed the finishing line safe and sound to be presented with finishers short and a local Basotho hat. Great moments!
With all the sponsors down for the day, prize giving commenced with the top three teams finishing as follows:
1. Team Scott Factory Racing with Matthys Beukes and Phillip Buys – Overall time 18.19.58 hours
2. Team Contego/Versluys with Kevin Van Hoovels and Louis-Bresler Knipe – Overall time 18.32.34 hours
3. Team Craft Rocky Mountain with Daniel Gathof and Jochen Weisenseel – Overall time 18.52.44 hours
Festivities finished off with a large braai and the treat of 200 litres of beer to be savoured compliments of Maluti. A great way to finish off what has been a special week and an event which all competitors have found hugely challenging and rewarding. Entries for next year’s event open in the next 2 weeks and our riders agreed on that this should be on the “MTB stage race bucklist”. Don’t hesitate to sign up.You wont regret it.
Lesotho Sky 2013 is now history. But it’s certainly not the end of the story.
Preparations for Lesotho Sky 2014 have started and we want YOU!
Safe riding and keep loving the trails of Lesotho for our current and future riders!
Thursday’s penultimate stage started at Maleala Lodge with 88km of Lesotho’s finest technical descents and district roads to cover before finishing back in Roma. Riding time for the front racing snakes expected at just under 4hrs with the back of the field weighing in with a full 8.5hrs in the saddle.Find more fabulous pix of Day 5 here:
Conditions were once again ideal and the cold rainy weather had still not arrived. Our riders could as well have left their fleece, warm gloves and jacket at home. The route once again traversed large barren parts where boulders the size of a baby’s head presented a barrier either when climbing or when descending. Your technical skills need to be on the ball before you enter this race. The local teams performed great again at Day 5. Their advantage is to know their terrain, but these guys are also super talented and it’s great to see the likes of Vodacom, Standard Bank and Nedbank amongst others getting behind cycling in Lesotho. Expect big things from these guys in years to come. This race serves as a great way for the guys to gain experience and further develop.See all the action in motion:
Once again a truly magnificent route with many river crossings, lots of passing through local villages (the people, especially the children have been super supportive) and plenty of challenging climbing along the way. The heat certainly showed its nasty side today with a high of 37 degrees but everybody had hydrated sufficiently and the stories of another super day out doing what we love, has been accompanied with cold beers and good red wine. Friendships and good bonds have been formed over the last few days which are all part of the beauty of these MTB stage races. Another tough day in Southern Africa!
Day 4 of Lesotho Sky consisted of a 68km stage from Ramabanta Trading Post to Maleala Lodge . There has been 3 hard days of riding up until this point and the bodies are now getting weary.Check out our impressions of a beautiful day of cycling to Malealea:
As is the norm the stage allowed for weary legs to get warmed up and then be greeted by tough climbing and descending. There are flat parts in Lesotho but you need to look long and it is hard to find them. Today saw the riders move in a more southerly direction and tackle the Matilele Ridge which calls out your name and says “come here and experience some more pain”. In fairness once the climbs were overcome, the route followed beautiful district roads flanked by mielie fields and the ever abundant herds of cows, goats and sheep. With 12km to the end the riders were treated to the sight of the Ribaneng Waterfall. Its dry this time of year but the small trickle of water was enough to suffice.Find Lesotho Sky’s video about Day 4 here:
Outlook on the last two stages
Another day under the belt with the beautiful blue Lesotho Sky as company. The riders are now firmly settled at Maleala Lodge which is a pure oasis in the middle of this dry and dusty landscape. The rains have still not arrived so the track has been firm and with two days to go should stay as is. With the podium placings pretty much sorted between the 3 main pro teams, it’s left to the Lesotho development teams along with the other experienced teams to fight for the minor positions. No doubt some interesting riding ahead before a well deserved final feet up and a proper party come Friday night in Roma. For now it’s all about soaking up whats put in front of the riders. Much to be grateful for!
The current standings of the top 5 teams after Day 4 are:1. Team Scott Factory Racing with Matthys Beukes and Phillip Buys - Time 10.59.51
2. Team Versluys-Contego with Kevin Van Hoovels and Louis-Bresler Knipe – Time 11.13.32
3. Team Craft -Rocky Mountain with Daniel Gathof and Jochen Weisenseel – Time 11.27.28
4. Team Lesotho Standard Bank with Phetetso Monese and Tumisang Taabe – Time 12.39.46
5. Team Alliance Insurance 1 with Jonase Machere and Sechaba Khoarahla – Time 13.16.27Results Day 4 Complete standings
Tuesday’s stage started at Ramabanta Trading Post and followed a circular route encompassing 50km and 1600m of climbing. The distance would appear small but the riders were warned that Day 3 won’t be short and simple. It lived up to its billing and while providing plenty of beauty and jaw dropping scenery, it presented most of the field with a big challenge. Clear skies once again throughout the day after a bout of thundershowers the night before. The rain was hardly visible on the route…its been super dry up in Ramabanta.Don’t miss today’s impressions here:
The route started off with a 3km climb immediately after the start. A good way to get the legs pumping. It then followed district roads towards the first technical piece of the day. Where one obstacle is overcome, another one is just waiting to spring its nasty head around the corner. Riders needed to be alert and once overcoming the technical sections, they could take a look around and admire the beauty of this special country. It is rather special to say the least.Check out the video for Day 3 here:
The top half of the field managed to complete the day in just over 2 hours whereas for the less serious amongst them, this was a good 6-7 hours in the saddle. Just goes to show that one needs to take these mountains seriously. So another stage down and its now 154km in. And still a lot more to come!Exciting Battle at the Front
Day 3 proved an intense competition between the top three teams. Today’s Loop separated Team Craft – Rocky Mountain very late from the leading teams. Kevin Van Hoovels and Louis-Bresler Knipe only lost the contact with Team Scott Factory Racing at the last climb. Yet von Hoovels has not given up his ambitions to win one stage at Lesotho Sky and to battle the leaders.
”I’ve even tried to scare sheep out of our way by indicating to throw a stone at them. But they simply didn’t react as dogs normally do. Sheep are far to slow for our pace.”
Team Craft – Rocky Mountain is aiming to keep contact as long as possible during the next stages. According to Daniel Gathof the landscape and views are stunning but his team did not come to Lesotho for sight seeing
“We will keep on fighting for the second position. Everything is possible in mountain biking and my team mate Jochen is getting faster and faster. The battle is on!”
1. Team Scott Factory Racing: Matthys Beukes and Phillip Buys - 07.36.08
2. Team Versluys-Contego: Kevin Van Hoovels and Louis-Bresler Knipe -07.51.57
3. Team Craft – Rocky Mountain: Daniel Gathof and Jochen Weisenseel - 07.58.20
Exciting to see who’ll challenge whom tomorrow from Ramabanta to Malealea!Click here to see today’s results! Find the complete standings including Day 3 here!
The warning signs had been provided. The Lesotho Sky riders faced one of the tougher days at Day 2.
Starting from the Roma Trading Post, the route would stretch over 80 km of mountainous terrain with Bushmans Pass and the infamous Three Witches Pass thrown in and finally ending at Ramabanta Trading Post. 3000 m of climbing for all Lesotho Sky riders who tackled this first stage at Day 2.Find more pictures here:
After yesterday’s prologue Scott Factory Racing and the team of Bresler-Knipe and van Hoovels would more than likely set the pace. Rocky Mountains were new to these conditions but would more than likely feature in the battle for first place. For the rest of the field and mere mortals the most important thing was to survive.
The first three teams at Day 2:
1. Team Scott Factory Racing: Matthys Beukes and Phillip Buys in 04.02 hours
2. Team Versluys-Contego: Kevin Van Hoovels and Louis-Bresler Knipe in 04.10 hours
3. Team Craft – Rocky Mountain: Daniel Gathof and Jochen Weisenseel in 04.14 hours
Paul Nielsen, Team Lesotho Sky Media, described his second day in Lesotho’s mountains:
“To say that this landscape is beautiful is a big understatement. It’s magical out here. Magical enough that they call a pass Three Witches.”
Now it’s time to recover with a few cold drinks for our riders and a good night’s rest.
The next challenge is waiting for the tomorrow at Day 3 with the Ramabanta Loop.Check out the video for Day 2 – Roma to Ramabanta
Find all the results of Day 2 here:Results Day 2 – Roma to Ramabanta
Current standings after two days of Lesotho Sky 2013:General Classification
The action is back in Lesotho! Find out more about Lesotho Sky’s kick off in Maseru
After a year of waiting, Lesotho Sky finally kicked off on Sunday for the third time in history!
Beautiful clear skies in the capital of Maseru and a slight chill in the air greeted riders as they made themselves down to the start line. 30 Teams from Germany, Belgium, Holland, Lesotho and South Africa had made their way to Maseru and this added a real international flavor to the event. Plenty of cows, sheep, dogs and goats had to be avoid while traversing through the very dry landscape and cycling 24 km towards the finish at Lesotho Sun. A great atmosphere and many spectators were waiting for the riders at the spectacular finish.
The results of the Elite Men Category:
1. Team Scott Factory Racing: Matthys Beukes and Phillip Buys in 57.46 min
2. Team Craft – Rocky Mountain: Daniel Gathof and Jochen Weisenseel in 01.01.47 min
3. Team Versluys-Contego : Kevin Van Hoovels and Louis-Bresler Knipe in 01.04.42 min
Here are the best local Basotho riders celebrating their first podium positions:
1. Team Lesotho Standard Bank: Phetetso Monese and Tumisang Taabe
2. Team Alliance Insurance 1: Jonase Machere and Sechaba Khoarahla
3. Team Maluti Mountain Brewery: Moeketsi Makatile and Thuso MakatiseCheck out the video of Day 1 -Time Trial in Maseru:
Here you can find all the results of the Time Trial in Maseru:Results Day 1 – Time Trial Maseru
Here are some impressions from registration day at the Lesotho Sun Hotel in Maseru:http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.732134406802466.1073741834.229388243743754&type=1&ref=notif¬if_t=like Results Day 1
Lesotho Sky Unleashed 2013 from Lesotho Sky on Vimeo.
Early Bird entries close on the 31st of March!!! Don’t Miss out!
Here are some impressions from registration day at the Lesotho Sun Hotel in Maseru:
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE GALLERY
We are exited about the 24km urban Time Trial Course coming up later…
Entries are selling and there are only 40 up for grabs, don’t missout…