Race Report: Lesotho Sky 2018 – Day 6

Lesotho Sky Day 6 – Rocking Roma

We finished the 8th edition of Lesotho Sky on a high, literally. This stage’s route took riders all the way up to the top of Thaba Chitja to ride the most epic contour trails. The first 8km was the typical tough climbing Lesotho Sky is known for, but once riders were on the plateau they were in for some vertigo-inducing singletrack.

After finishing the final stage race winner Reinhard Zellhuber said that it was probably one of his best days of this year’s MTB calendar.

It was fast with a classic marathon vibe. Today was a lot easier to navigate and the descents were absolutely amazing. You clearly saved the best for last. – Reinhard Zellhuber

Zellhuber and Hill had to work hard to defend their lead and brought the attack to the French riders. A couple of navigation errors added some extra pressure to their chances of an overall win. They were able to recover quickly and with 3km to go, put in a big attack that saw the opposing team fall off the pace. Their pace going up the final climb was too much for Basile’s teammate Remy Bourdon. With a time of 1:57:29, the South African duo secured the stage win and became the overall winners of Lesotho Sky 2018.

This was Zellhuber’s first long-format stage race and he will benefit greatly from the experience he gained this week under the watchful guidance of his more senior teammate, Andrew Hill. Speaking about the event afterwards, Zellhuber said that Lesotho Sky is one of the friendliest events he ever competed in and that he will definitely be back in 2019 to defend the title.

For Andrew Hill it was a welcome change to take part in a UCI stage race with a relaxed atmosphere, but he still relished the challenge between the top teams.

Result summary 

UCI Teams:

1st: Team Garrun-Tib Insurance – Reinhard Zellhuber and Andrew Hill – 1:57:29

2nd: Team Rebloch Power – Allard Basile and Remy Bourdon – 1:57:37

3rd: Team Alliance Insurance – Tumelo Makae and Phetetso Monese – 2:07:55

4th: Team Standard Lesotho Bank – Malefetsane Lesofe and Katleho Manasi – 2:14:52