Blantyre Cycling Club’s top cyclist, Steven Nazombe, on Saturday led his club to triumph over 55 other participants in 20th KIA Luwawa International Charity Mountain Bike Race that took place at Luwawa Forest Lodge in Mzuzu.
Nazombe established an early lead at the start of the race.
Half way through the race, he had managed to draw out a good lead of 150 metres with a pack of five cyclists from Blantyre Cycling Club, Eco Active Cycling Club with Luwawa Swifts closely following.
The lead was later closed up as they cycled through the indigenous woodlands section on a single track through the Perekzi Forest Reserve with Missi Kathumba of the Eco Active Cycling Club challenging for the lead.
However, Nazombe managed to hold on to his small lead to finish the challenging 53 km route in 2:03 hours to set a new record of eight minutes faster than last year’s winner Leonard Tsoyo who gave up the title.
Kathumba was on second position coming in closely after clocking 2:03:05.
Kwame Kaira of Blantyre Cycling Club, was on third position after finishing the race in 2:04 hours.
In ladies category, Ragtje Dijhman amazingly crossed line carrying her bike which had a broken chain some several hundred metres away from the finish line.
The team prize went to Blantyre Cycling Club trio of Nazombe, Kayira and Wisikes Usi with a combined time of 6:26 hours to win the Selmar Gassen Memorial Trophy.
Forty-three participants completed the course with six retiring due to technical problems with their bikes.
Six others did not finish the tough but beautiful undulating course through the forests.
Sponsored by HTD/ KIA Motors, the race has been run under UCI rules since 2011 as a full International event. This year’s event attracted 10 cyclists from other countries.
The tough circular route of the race follows the mountain ridges around the South Viphya Forest Reserve covering a distance of 53 kilometres.
Race director, George Wardlow, described this year’s competition as exciting.
Wardlow thanked all the sponsors and inparticularly KIA for making this year’s event a success.
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