Africa’s end of season showstopper the Motul Roof of Africa, is incoming. The ‘Mother of Hard Enduro’ kicks off into the mountains of Lesotho, December 5-9.
Hailed for it’s breath-taking scenery, high altitudes and over 400km of unrelenting terrain, Roof of Africa has been testing riders since 1969 – hence the claim to be ‘mother’ to the sport we know and love so much these days.
The 2018 Motul Roof of Africa comes with some changes including a brand new start and finish venue at St Andrews School in Ha Raboletsi, approximately 55 km from Maseru.
Route director Peter Luck said, “We needed to get new routes away from the Bushman’s area and this was the ideal place to access those routes. It is very difficult in Lesotho to find enough flat land to accommodate the Roof of Africa start, and we are very lucky to have found this spot which will also give spectators great viewing of the ‘Start and Finish’ stages in the valley below!”
The ‘new routes’ that Luck refers to have given the Roof of Africa a complete make-over. An impressive 65% of the event will consist new trails, and the remainder of the route will take riders to sections of Lesotho that have not been ridden in the last eight years.
While the 2017 edition was deemed by some Gold riders as ‘too easy’, Luck explains that this year’s event will be quite the opposite:
“It will be a tougher route than last year. The routes in Lesotho are never easy, but that is what makes the Roof so unique and enjoyable for hard enduro riders.”
Another change set to shake the Roof of Africa is a break away from the traditional ‘Round the Houses’ route. In attempt to avoid the ever-increasing congestion at the centre of Maseru and make the event more accessible, the race will now take place at Maseru Mall.
Instead of using familiar tar roads, Luck announced an exciting twist: “Round the Houses will be held on mostly dirt paths this year, and we’ve also thrown a few obstacles in! It will be a lot more accessible to competitors, service crews and spectators and bring an exciting new element to the Roof!”
Cross Country legend Kenny Gilbert will be doing a recce of the Roof of Africa route in the coming weeks. “I’m am really looking forward to riding in Lesotho again especially being able to pre ride the actual route of the 2018 Roof of Africa." Says Gilbert. "I’ve raced and finished the ‘Mother of Hard Enduro’ 13 times. I will do my best to get as much information for the organizers and riders as possible. Fun times ahead!” added Gilbert.
More information (entries are still available): roofofafrica.info
The Roof goes a little something like this:
Photo credit: zcmc.co.za
Jon PearsonEnduro21 Editor and Bike Testerjon.firstname.lastname@example.org