PMB World Cup fever spreads beyond South African borders

Pietermaritzburg – Two riders from Lesotho’s sole UCI MTB Trade Team will bolster the Southern African challenge at next weekend’s UCI MTB World Cup Pietermaritzburg, presented by Shimano, which takes place at the Cascades MTB Park from 11-13 April, as Phetetso Monese and Teboho Khantsi look to make their mark at the global showcase.

With a number of the Kargo Pro MTB Team’s riders already set to take to the international stage in a few days’ time, ACE-The Sufferfest Lesotho MTB Team powered by Unitrans – Africa’s only other UCI accredited outfit – has confirmed they too will contest the World Cup season opener and Khantsi and Monese will be hoping to add their own, unique stories to the list of the continent’s home-soil successes.

Ranked 125th and 163rd respectively, Monese and Khantsi may go unnoticed by many in the hype of journalists, spectators and the sport’s global superstars, however, they have their sights set on their own long-term goal.

“For us it’s all about releasing the potential and presenting these riders with a chance to dream!” described Mark West, team manager of the ACE-The Sufferfest Lesotho MTB Team. “We are already witnessing great progress in performance, the winning will come at a later stage!

Monese and Khantsi, the team’s two elite men’s cross country competitors, had a good opportunity to come to terms with various elements of the World Cup course when they recently took part in the opening leg of the South African MTB Cup Series at Cascades.

“The course was good but very technical. It doesn’t really suit my style of riding because of the tight twists and turns,” Monese, Lesotho’s National Road Champion, described afterwards.

“We enjoyed competing in the SA Cup Series event though and are really looking forward to the World Cup!” he added.

The opportunity is one Khantsi is also relishing and hopes he can fly his team’s, nation’s and continent’s flags high at the event.

“I had a very good off season as I was training at the World Cycling Centre Africa facility in Potchestroom,” said Khantsi.

“I’m fit and am just hoping to do my best at the World Cup, avoid being lapped and try help raise the profile of African cycling!” he added.

Neither competitors have competed in a World Cup event previously and are under no illusion as to the size of the task they are faced with.

“The UCI MTB World Cup in Pietermaritzburg, followed by the UCI World Junior Series that will be hosted on our home soil from 18-20 April, will be the team’s initiation into the world of international MTB.

“African boys know that any initiation ceremony is a painful but is develops important experience in the journey to manhood!” said West.

While not asking for any special treatment nor expecting an easy ticket to the front, West did however urge the home crowd to get behind their fellow Africans and help support the ACE-The Sufferfest Lesotho MTB duo next weekend.

“If you are in Pietermaritzburg next weekend then look out for the team with the bleeding eyes logo and portrait of a dignified African chief on the jersey,” said West.

“And give them a big cheer as well!”

The UCI MTB World Cup, presented by Shimano, takes place at the Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg from 11-13 April 2014. More information can be found at www.mtbworldcupsa.co.za

2014PhetetsoMonese

ACE-The Sufferfest Lesotho MTB Team powered by Unitrans’ Phetetso Monese is currently ranked 125th in the world but will hope to fly his team’s and continent’s flags high when he take part in the 2014 UCI MTB World Cup Pietermaritzburg, presented by Shimano, at the Cascades MTB Park from 11 to 13 April. Paul Nielsen/Gameplan Media