Gem Diamonds Real Challenge

Mountain bikers have expressed delight at the level of competition at the Gem Diamonds Kalahari Challenge cycling race.

The event, which was celebrating its 10th anniversary, was filled with fun and drama as 250 riders navigated a tough terrain between Lions’ Park, Boatle, Mogonye, Manyana, Ranaka Valley, and the Ntlhantlhe and Mogobane areas in three days from Friday to Sunday.

The Satib Cycling Team from South Africa, which emerged as overall winners of the 240 kilometres team full race, said they were impressed by the quality of competition.

“It was a good show which was fantastic for the sport and for Botswana. The quality of competition was very high and the terrain was tough and amazing. We had to work really hard together as a team,” said Gordon Gilbert, who together with teammate Allen Gordon dominated the team full race from start to finish.

They finished the grueling 90km day one with a team time of 3:32:33 hours to set the pace for other riders.

They continued their dominance by finishing the 83km day two stage with a team time of 3:18:16 hours, then clinched first position by finishing the 67km last stage in 2:40:46 hours to finish with a total time of 9:31:25 hours.

They won gold medals and P9 000 prize-money.

“All the three days were tough because all good riders were here. We had to concentrate hard on the navigation to avoid getting lost. The terrain was very rocky,” Gilbert added.

The Gem Masters Team made of Greg Anderson and Deon Kruger finished second with a total time of 10:00:59 hours, while the Bike Shop Racing Team of Victor Potgieter and Shawn Bruwer came third.

Timothy Hammond, who won the solo full race, said he was also happy with the level of competition. Hammond dominated all the three stages of the solo full race and ultimately grabbed position one in 9:29:24 hours.

Louis Harmse got position two in 10:20:18 hours, while Kfir Teichman finished third in 10:47:49 hours. Kelvin Green won the solo lite men’s event in 7:52:20 hours. Reza Armstrong won the full women’s category in 12:51:08 hours, while Anja De Roode won the solo lite women’s category in 12:09:59 hours.

Race organisers said of the 250 riders, about 150 were from South Africa.

Source : BOPA