Team Swift trio off Zims Sweepers Big Ride
24 May 2023
Team Swift Cycling Club's trio of Lloyd Molale, Thabiso Mokalake and Matlhogonolo Botlhole are in Harare, Zimbabwe, to compete in the Tsvaira Sweepers Big Ride on Thursday.
Organised by the Tsvaira Cycling Club, the race is has different categories of athletes and distances including the men’s elite, Under-23 men 120km, women’s elite, women’s Under-23 60km, masters and veterans 60km, Under-19 and Under-17 60km and 42km respectively as well as 24km for both Under-13 and 15 and Para cycling.
In 2022, Botlhole scooped the Sweepers Big Ride Under-23 men’s 120km title and he will be competing not only to defend his title, but also aiming for the overall win. As one of the biggest races in Zimbabwe, Tsvaira Sweepers Big Ride will not only give the trio training and exposure in the SADC region, but will also prepare them for the coming Botswana Cycling Association National Championships scheduled for later in the year.
“We want to give our riders a chance to prove themselves in SADC, participate and compete in all these major races in the region,” Team Swift Cycling Club coach, David Lebalelo said in an interview. Lebalelo said their approach to the race was to be the overall winners while defending their title. “The route terrain is similar to the route we just did with Tsela Riders Cycling Club race over the weekend, and we are familiar with Zimbabwean riders, their strength and weaknesses, so we believe it will not be that tough,” he said.
Lebalelo said the team was sending Botlhole with two other riders who would be supporting him to defend his title and strive for that overall win. “Our main focus is for him to win the overall race, hence we are sending other riders to complement him,” he said.
Last year, the Under-23 win came with an automatic entry into South Africa’s 947 Ride Joburg. Lebalelo however said the 947 Ride Joburg win conditions were meant for Zimbabwean citizens, and that they gave Botlhole a cash prize equivalent to the entry registration for the race.
Botlhole said he was confident that his teammates would give him the necessary support during the race and that he would achieve his intended goal of being the overall winner. “With a support team, I will be able to sweep it all and bring it home whilst also defending my Under-23 title,” Botlhole said confidently. Ends
Source : BOPA
Author : Ketshepile More
Location : Gaborone
Event : Interview
Date : 24 May 2023