Lesotho Sky is a six-day stage race in the high mountains of Lesotho - a small country with a big heart in southern Africa. Lesotho is also one of the few remaining kingdoms in the world and, thanks to this spectacular event and other amazing cycling initiatives, the country has rightly claimed the title as Africa’s official Mountain Bike Kingdom.
What started in 2011 with a handful of passionate mountain bikers grew into a guaranteed MTB bucket list item. It is by far one of the most spectacular and toughest stage races in southern Africa. The roughly 370 km course, made of mostly single tracks, big mountain passes, rocky climbs and gnarly downhills, takes riders on an old school MTB journey that many will experience as a rite of passage. Staying true to the down-to-earth nature of the original race in 2011, the organisers limit the maximum amount of entries to 100 riders.
The field might be small, but the stoke amongst the riders is massive. During the 2017 race, this again proved to be the case. A thunderstorm followed by sudden cold front changed the riding conditions from tough to extremely difficult. The spirit of the riders never wavered and even on a cancelled day, most riders got on their bikes, headed off for the mountains and had a proper old school mudfest.
Since 2016, the organisers have made some big changes to the route and the 2018 event promises to be a mind-blowing MTB experience. Uncharted MTB territory around the new base camp in Roma awaits the 100 lucky Lesotho Sky riders.
This is truly an African mountain-biking experience with no equal. The spectacular scenery, natural trails, high altitude and friendly Basotho culture make this race a must-do event. Just one warning though: this race is not for the dirt roadies. Every inch, whether up or down, is a test of your MTB skills. The organisers are committed to a raw, tough MTB fest. Trails are not manicured and there are no little wooden bridges built for your pleasure. This is as proper as proper gets. No wonder they call it a ride of passage.
Early Bird entries close 1 December 2017.
Lodged: Team of 2 - R35,000 ; Solo - R18,500
Backpackers: Team of 2 - R29,000; Solo - R16,500
Camping: Team of 2 - R22 000; Solo - R13 000
To find out more, visit Lesotho Sky.