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Safety prioritised in Kalahari cycling race

KABELO BORANABI
Stanbic Bank CEO Leina Gabaarane (left) handling over a P500, 000 cheque to Clive Grinaker PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Stanbic Bank Botswana chief executive officer, Leina Gabaraane has pleaded with the motorists to be tolerant with cyclists on the roads to reduce the increasing number of accidents that continue to take their lives.

“I would like to plead with road users to be user friendly with our cyclists.

We have had incidents before where cyclists are killed on the roads which could have been avoided,” Gabaraane said this at the Kalahari Challenge media briefing yesterday in Gaborone.

The race director, Seamus O’Neill told Mmegi Sport yesterday that they have collaborated with the South African-based search and rescue company Off Road Rescue Unit (ORRU) in order to ensure the safety of the riders during the event.  “They (ORRU) have been here before with the Kalahari Desert Race and they have done most of the off-road and mountain races before; they are well equipped. They will bring their international experience to the race,” he said.

O’Neill further said although they will be having experienced riders for the event, they would

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have a riders briefing on the registration day to sensitise them on safety. Last year’s edition attracted 250 riders and the number is expected to increase to 300 this year.

“The race has grown tremendously since its inception in 2005. The budget has risen from around P80,000 to around P2 million. For this year’s edition, we have improved the campsite for the comfort of our riders,” he said.

The Challenge route of 237km includes 2,400m of climbing over a three-day period, while Conquest route which covers 185km sees a hill climb of 1,300m.

Participants may enter as juniors (Under 19), open (19-29 years), sub-vets (30-39 years), veterans (40-49 years) and masters category. Cyclists may enter in the mixed, women or single categories. The race is scheduled to take place on June 10-12.



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