The “Mother of Hard Enduro” returns to the Maloti Mountains of Lesotho in just a few weeks’ time (09 – 12 November). In keeping with their innovative approach to adapting this classic event in order to maintain its status as one of the toughest Hard Enduro races on the planet, organisers Live Lesotho are excited to announce some highlights to look forward to at this year’s event.
The Start/Finish point for this year’s Roof has been confirmed as the iconic Bushman’s Pass, while the relaxation of Covid regulations in Lesotho sees the return of Round the Houses in the centre of Maseru, as well as the popular EnduroX segment, albeit in a totally new format and taking place at Bushman’s Pass.
“We’re excited to be once again offering competitors and spectators the prospect of extreme Enduro action in the mountains of Lesotho,” commented Charan Moore, Roof Race Director and Founder of Live Lesotho. “We’re also delighted to welcome the team from WESS Promotion GmbH, organisers of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship, as we work towards the Roof featuring on their calendar in 2023. Being part of this global series will elevate the status of the Roof and attract even more top international riders, including some of the homegrown talent currently doing so well on the global stage. Watch this space!” added Moore.
Some 400 confirmed entries have been received for this year’s Mother of Hard Enduro, and fans can look forward to the return of some of the big names in Enduro racing, including newly crowned 2022 FIM Hard Enduro World Champion Mani Lettenbichler (RED BULL KTM FACTORY RACING) from Germany, plus Austrian Michael Walkner (GASGAS Factory Racing Enduro Team). SA’s very own 2022 FIM Hard Enduro Junior World Champion Matt Green will be joining defending Roof Champion Wade Young (Sherco Racing Factory Team powered by Motul), also born and bred in South Africa. The UK’s Billy Bolt (Factory Husqvarna Extreme Enduro) has unfortunately had to pull out having not fully recovered from a recent injury. These top riders will be joined by multiple other Gold Class competitors with the experience and training needed to apply pressure on the leading contenders, including Brett Swanepoel (2022 South Africa Enduro Champion) and Travis Teasdale (2022 South Africa Extreme Enduro Champion).
Other important changes for 2022 will see fuel for all competitors included in the entry fee. This will be provided at all the unassisted service points (but not at the DSP or before the start of each race day). The 2-stroke fuel will be mixed using Motul 710 2T, and fuel for 4-strokes and 2-stroke oil injection motorcycles will also be supplied.
Should the weather be hot or cold, hydration and nutrition are always vital factors during the Roof. This year, riders will be in very safe hands with USN, who will have waterpoints en route to hydrate and feed the riders. The USN Team will also be present daily at the start and in the post-race recovery zone, providing products to assist with optimal mineral and electrolyte replenishment and rehydration throughout the event.
The overall programme for the 2022 Roof of Africa will be familiar to participants and fans, with documentation and scrutineering taking place on Wednesday, 09 November from 10:00 and finishing by 19:00. There will also be a welcome press conference with a Q&A session involving some of the international riders at 18:00, followed by the secondary riders’ briefing at 19:00, all taking place at the Avani Lesotho Hotel (top hotel).
Thursday, 10 November will kick off with Round the Houses where the action will start at Maseru Soccer Field at 09:00, after the closure of the pre-race paddock at 08:30. Roof fans in the capital can once again enjoy the sights and sounds of Enduro racing through the city streets.
All Roof competitors will then head to Bushman’s Pass, where Bronze and Iron Class riders will take part in a traditional time trial to establish the starting order and times for Day 2.
Gold and Silver Class riders meanwhile will take on a new challenge, introduced especially for this year. “The Mountain Battle” or “Ntoa ea Thaba”, to give it its Sesotho name, will be a thrilling and demanding natural terrain route. Results here will similarly determine start times on Day 2.
Gold Class competitors will also have to take on two GPS-only route sections – one each on Friday and Saturday – where they will have to rely on their navigational skills alone; there will be no directional markers in these sections.
On Day 2 itself (Friday, 11 November), the race segment of the event will begin at Bushman’s Pass with riders setting off in their pre-determined order, beginning with Gold riders from 06:00, Silver competitors from 06:30, Bronze Class participants from 07:00 and finally, the Iron Class riders (aka the “weekend warriors”) starting an hour after that.
The final day of racing (Saturday, 12 November) will follow the same starting pattern, although with a highly competitive field assembled, this day is expected to go right down to the wire. Every rider who finishes will receive the coveted Roof medal, and all competitors are invited to the special prizegiving ceremony later that evening at the Avani Maseru Hotel (bottom hotel).
Live Lesotho wishes to thank their partners, without whom this year’s event would not have been possible: MGC, Avani Hotels, USN, Motul, Michelin, KTM, LEO, Xco, Maluti Lager and Red Bull, plus the Roof of Africa 2022 supporting partners.
For more info and the full programme of events, go to the official website: https://roofofafrica.co.ls//
Issued by Listen Up on behalf of Live Lesotho