Kenyan riders win Botswana cycling event

13:41, July 25, 2011      

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Kenya riders has won the sixth edition of the Subaru Kalahari Challenge in Botswana on Sunday with a combined time of 8:09:35 in two days, defending their title in last year's competition.

The Kenyan cycling team Safari Simbas, made up of David Kinjah and Davidson Kamau, finished the tough 200km race with a combined time of 8:09:35 in two days.

The Kenyans were firm favorites to win the race following their dominance last year when they cruised to victory marking their maiden appearance in Botswana's cycling event.

They emerged the overall winners despite finishing seven minutes behind South African Neville Van Zyl who was a lone rider owing to technical problems encountered by his partner on the opening day on Saturday. This resulted in Van Zyl cycling for fun as the competition did not allow single entries, but only teams.

The Kenyans were unstoppable in the opening day finishing the 96km terrain in 1st position with a time of 4:00:25. The riders had an overnight stop near Lobatse, a town 60km south of the capital Gaborone.

The second day track proved to be the most difficult as many struggled on rocky and hilly conditions passing through the villages of Otse, Lephala, Mogonye, Boatle, Sentlhane and Mokolodi before finishing at the Wharic Pack in Gaborone.

Safari Simbas were still on the lead midway through the last day but Van Zyl was breathing heavily on their necks. He eventually overtook them after Kamau suffered a nasty incident falling into a thorny bush tearing his nose and hands.

Gaborone Cycling Club's (GCC) Angus Boxshall-Smith and Warren Lane came second in a time of 08:40:00 after doing 04:12:00 on Saturday and 04:28:00 on Sunday. The mixed team of Dirk Nel and Ronel van Wyk, also from GCC came third.

A total of 150 teams (300 riders) participated in this year's race with some riders from Zimbabwe, South Africa, Malta, Lesotho and Swaziland. The annual event is organized by the Gaborone Cycling Club (GCC) and the Botswana Tourism Organization (BTO) as it is also a major boost to the tourism industry of the country.

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