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Illovo Mphamvu race to turn international

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Illovo Sugar has challenged major cycling stakeholders to turn the annual Illovo Mphamvu race into an international event involving cyclists from other countries.

The company’s Assistant General Manager-Commercial, Walter Nyamilandu-Manda, made the call after the company bankrolled this year’s race to the tune of K6 million.

Previously known as Illovo Classic Race, the competition was upgraded to international standards in 2014 when it was extended from 90 kilometres to 115 kilometres.

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This year’s race was given the Illovo Mphamvu tag in line with the company’s rebranding exercise.

Nyamilandu said time was ripe to make the competition an international race.

“We are saying that this competition should not only be a Blantyre race. Yes, the Blantyre Cycling Club is the principle holder of this event but it must be a national event. This race should be able to attract cyclists from neighbouring countries and that is where we want to go,” he said.

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“We have built the capacity and we also have built the capability. We have invested in the last eight years and it is time to show the world what Malawi is made of. We have exposed the talent across the world, in particular South Africa and it is time to grow.”

Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development Chief Director, Josephy Mwandidya, while appreciating Illovo’s support, asked the company to increase sponsorship.

“This race has indeed grown from K2 million to K6 million. We believe that the company will increase the amount of sponsorship,” he said.

During the main race, Steve Nazombe won the championship for the third successive time after clocking.

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