Riders brace for stinging scorpion challenge

Local mountain bikers are set to tussle in undoubtedly the toughest one day off road race dubbed the Pick n’ Pay Mokolodi Scorpion Mountain bike challenge on Sunday September 20.

The off road race is affectionately known as “the race with a sting in the back” and was named after the predatory arthropod scorpion which has an excruciating but harmless sting.

Probably one of the physically taxing cycling challenge after the three days Kalahari Challenge, the race will take riders to the dizzying heights of some sections of the Kgale hill ranges down to the hot and dusty Mokolodi foothills.

In all fairness riders and spectators are set to enjoy breathtaking landscapes that could capture imaginations of professional riders who were plying their trade in paying ranks. Against soaring temperatures, the air is likely to get thicker which will make the mountainous scenery more spectacular and tougher.

All eyes will be on the 21 year old Botswana’s sensational cycler and only professional rider to date Bernardo Ayuso. Ayuso is plying his trade in Spain with the Gomur Cantabria cycling team.

He will be making his second appearance at the Scorpion challenge as he took part when he was only 14 years.He has not been able to take part in the race as his Spanish cycling season was on.

Fresh from a resounding victory in the past weekend at the Jwaneng race Ayuso is likely to face stiff opposition from the likes of promising youngster Thato Madimabe who came on the second spot in the last edition of the race last year.

On a sad note the defending champion Jabu Tabolane will not make it to this year’s race owing to work commitments. The race has produced refined cyclists in the mould of Neville Van Zyl, who has relocated to South Africa and veteran rider Angus Boxshall Smith amongst others.

The race is celebrating its 13 years of existence and has been sponsored to the tune of P60 000. Juniors, master, veteran seniors will go for the jugular in the 55 kilometres and 36km races with other 20km and 5km fun races.