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tour de lesotho


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Hier is die toer!!!



The International Cycling Union (UCI) has approved a new international multi stage race for Cycling South Africa (CSA). The tour will be held for the first time in 2007 from 18 to 27 March and the UCI awarded the tour covering the picturesque Eastern Free State and majestic Lesotho mountains a 2.2 rating.

Total prize money for the tour will be in excess of R1.7 million with the individual winner taking home R100 000.

The tour will start and finish in Bloemfontein totaling 1 450 km over nine stages excluding the prologue over 8 km. The tour will accommodate 20 teams of six riders each. Eleven of these teams will be from abroad with the balance being made up of nine local teams including one from Lesotho.

Participants will have their work cut out for them so early in the season with three stages going beyond 200 km. The first stage from Bloemfontein to Ladybrand will be 211 km, the sixth stage between Oxbow and Harrismith will be a massive 235 km followed by the seventh stage the next day from Phutjadithaba to Kroonstad over another murderous 226 km.

Accept for the prologue, there will be no other individual time trial but a very strenuous team time trial will take place on the third day (second stage) from Ladybrand throught Clocolan back to Ladybrand over 74 km.

Averaging 145 km per day this will be a true test of the riders? abilities with some of the most mountainous terrain in Southern Africa to overcome. Sixteen mountain primes will be contested with seven of them categorized ?Out of Category? climbing to altitudes in excess of 3220 metres above sea level.

With two stages being decided on relative flat parts of the Central and Northern Free State, crosswinds and the well known Free State dust storms will also put the riders to the test.

The stage are:
Sunday 18 March: Prologue (Bloemfontein), 8 km.
Monday 19 March, First Stage: Bloemfontein to Ladybrand, 211 km.
Tuesday 20 March, Second Stage: Team Time Trial (Ladybrand through Clocolan back to Ladybrand), 74 km.
Wednesday 21 March, Third Stage: Maseru to Mohali Dam, 120 km.
Thursday 22 March, Fourth Stage: Katse to Maputsoe, 126 km.
Friday 23 March, Fifth Stage: Hlotse to Mahlasela Hill, 121 km.
Saturday 24 March, Sixth Stage: Oxbow to Harrismith, 235 km.
Sunday 25 March, Seventh Stage: Phutjadithaba to Kroonstad, 226 km.
Monday 26 March, Eighth Stage: Kroonstad to Bloemfontein, 188 km.
Tuesday 27 March, Ninth Stage: Circuit Race (Bloemfontein), 149
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The difference is that the Giro is going ahead and is advertised this is a little vague and with less than a month to go some people (including the teams) aren't even sure if this is going ahead?

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The difference is that the Giro is going ahead and is advertised this is a little vague and with less than a month to go some people (including the teams) aren't even sure if this is going ahead?




There are so many rumours about this tour. I just find it very strange we haven't had a press release yet naming the title sponsors etc. If there is over R 1 mill for prizes and probably another R 1 mill for running costs etc the sponsor is going to want mega coverage. At this rate they aren't going to get it.




I really hope it does take place as it will be very good fro SA Cycling and our top riders, but hold little hope (please prove me wrong). A month to go and not enough information available.

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What is happening with the Maloti Cycle Tour? With only five weeks before the start there is still no word about who is sponsoring the ten-day UCI approved 2.2 Tour.


All attempts since 3 January to get the organiser, George Schoonraad, to just name one of his sponsors (R5 million) has failed.


In one of the last conversations Schoonraad made mention that he has a new sponsor who wants naming rights for the Tour and that he is busy talking to the other sponsors to see how he could accommodate them.


Then, in another conversation, Schoonraad said that the sponsor is on the verge of signing the contract; the only reason why no pen was put on paper was because the sponsor wanted a tax number from Schoonraad before any money would be payed.


That was the last time Schoonraad answered his phone.


On Monday former Cycling South Africa vice-chairman, Bart Harmse, also part of the Tour?s organising committee, gave the assurance that the Tour will definitely go ahead as planned. However, he also had no answers about who the sponsors are.


Harmse agreed that it is important that the sponsors names should at this late stage made known. According to him a press release was being prepared and that it would be out on Monday afternoon or early Tuesday morning.


When nothing happened by Tuesday afternoon all attempts to contact Harmse also failed.


At this stage there is also no indication which international teams have been invited or who the South African teams are going to be.


A lot of local team managers are getting worried. As one manager explained: "There is a lot of organising to do before a Tour like this. We need to know that it is definitely going to happen so we can budget for it."


Everybody agreed it would be a great pitty if the Tour will be called off because the one thing South African pro-cycling really needs is another strong tour.


The Tour of Maloti could be one of the most exciting tours in South Africa because of four Cat 1 Climbs (two hilltop finishes) and a team time trial.


The date booked for the Tour on the UCI calender is 18-27 March. The tour would start and finish in Bloemfontein and would include tough stages in Lesotho.


According to George the total prizemoney is R1.7 million.

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