Lesotho Sky Day 4 – Malealea Monster
Today was a big day for Lesotho cycling. Tumelo Makae and Phetetso Monese of Alliance Insurance took their first stage win of the week. It is Makae’s first ever stage win here at Lesotho. Makae was noticeably disappointed after coming close yesterday – they finished in third place. Today, team Alliance Insurance made it count and it was the perfect day to do it.
The conditions for riding were spectacular and the route looked good. Some of the downhill sections were a bit more sketchy compared to previous years, so riders had to be a bit more careful.
The Malealea Monster is an established Lesotho mountainbike event that takes place in April each year. The same route forms part of the Lesotho Sky stage race. The Lesotho riders knew this trail like the backs of their hands and it showed in the way they raced today.
Today’s riding also resulted in a shift in momentum towards the South African riders Reinhard Zellhuber and Andrew Hill. Going into the race, the difference between the two top teams was 1 only second. Hill commented after the race that they were looking for that valuable time gap between themselves and the French riders. The end result of the day could not have been better for them. Stage 5 will be a gruelling, long day on the bike, but with 6 minutes to defend, the South Africans can let team Rebloch Power do all the work. They’ll have to bring their A-game to the race to close down the gap.
1st: Team Alliance Insurance – Tumelo Makae and Phetetso Monese – 2:30:53
2nd: Team Garrun-Tib Insurance – Reinhard Zellhuber and Andrew Hill – 2:30:55
3rd: Team Rebloch Power – Allard Basile and Remy Bourdon – 2:36:42
4th: Team Standard Lesotho Bank – Malefetsane Lesofe and Katleho Manasi – 3:12:37