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Botlhole wins Tsela Riders cycling race

23 May 2023

Matlhogonolo Botlhole of Team Swift has won Tsela Riders Cycling Club race held at Kgale on Sunday.

He clocked 2:47:15 with his teammate Lloyd Molale breathing down his neck in 2:47:20 and Abeng Malete of Jwaneng close behind with 2:47:25.

Team Swift riders continue to dominate the road cycling space, claiming podium finish in almost all cycling competitions.

Botlhole, Malete, Molale and Gontse Lethokwe collected all the points in the 110km race before embarking on a sprint finish.

The riders started from the Kgale flyover heading south to Fikeng and back. It was a less challenging route for the seasoned riders and it was for the most part a relaxed race as the peloton led the bunch.

The relaxed mood of the peloton shifted up gear as the four readied themselves for a sprint finish with 5km to go.

With the finish line drawing closer, Molale and Botlhole began to dictate the pace of the race and to deny Malete the space to manouver in the sprint photo finish.

Malete, trying desperately to reclaim his title as the road race king, failed to dominate the photo finish sprint due to a cramp as Botlhole and Molale claimed position one and two respectively.

“It was the usual race with stronger guys in the front and I only needed to be with them. My team and I were with Malete and we tried many attacks to drop him but our attempts failed, he was strong and we let go,” Botlhole shared the race experience in an interview.

He said they then strategised on a sprint to eliminate Malete.

Molale acknowledged that Malete gave them a ride for their win and that attempts to drop him proved cumbersome.

“We wanted to drop him as early as possible but he managed to hang on and we pushed in areas where we know it is difficult in order to destabilise his sprint,” Molale said.

He said they knew Malete was a stronger sprinter and that they pushed him hard along the route to drain his power to sprint.

“We did that and he cramped at the end and we managed to get position one and two,” Molale stated, adding that even if Malete did not cramp there was a possibility of him losing as their plan was to sit behind him.

Malete’s dominance in the road race has been declining, but he said the ‘plan was to stay close to them and not drop them’ because they outnumbered him and were stronger.”

Malete said his race plan was to be in the break with them all the way.

Katlego Ditlogolo of Botrail took the junior men title while Jwaneng’s Tsotlhe Keikotlhae came second.

In the women elite, Moratwa Matlhaope of Tsela Riders finished in 4:09 for first position and Ketelano Finike of Karowe Cycling club clocked 4:18.

Tsela Riders Cycling club races are held to motivate the cycling community to keep training while awaiting the cycling calendar for race events.  ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Ketshepile More

Location : GABORONE

Event : Cycling race

Date : 23 May 2023