2019 Motul Roof of Africa: A New Era Begins

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The 52nd edition of the Motul Roof of Africa will see Lesotho-based events management company Live Lesotho take up the reins for the first time. Under the leadership of Charan Moore, they will present a Hard Enduro event that’s steeped in Roof heritage, but which also features fresh and exciting aspects designed to appeal to veteran and first-time riders and spectators alike. 

The 2019 edition of the “Mother of Hard Enduro” will also be the fourth consecutive year that Motul have been title sponsor, and as this partnership goes from strength to strength, the Roof continues to capture the imagination and gain the attention of the global Hard Enduro community. 

“This will be the culmination of a great year of Hard Enduro riding in southern Africa,” promised Live Lesotho’s Charan Moore. “It’s an honour to be able to stage this iconic race in such a picturesque setting, and we can guarantee that once again, the Roof will deliver all the excitement and passion it is known for,” he added. 

“Motul is naturally delighted to once again be the title sponsor of the Motul Roof of Africa – an event which embodies the beauty, challenge and uniqueness of Lesotho,” commented Mercia Jansen, Motul Area Manager for Eastern and Southern Africa. “At the same time, it’s an event where success requires perseverance, the pursuit of excellence, and genuine passion – qualities with which Motul identifies very strongly,” she concluded. 

The 2019 Motul Roof of Africa will take place from 4 – 7 December in the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho and promises to set a new standard for Southern African Hard Enduro events in terms of the star-studded line-up of riders, the seamlessly organised logistics (including eye-in-the-sky helicopter services delivered by MGC), and the superb experience on offer to fans of Hard Enduro. 

The 2019 Event
Documentation and scrutineering will take place on Wednesday 4 December 2019, at the Race Headquarters at the Avani Lesotho Hotel and Casino (official accommodation partner of the Roof). A riders’ briefing will also take place at the same venue at 19h00, although attendance will not be compulsory as all relevant information can be found online and a digital briefing will be sent to all riders ahead of time. An official Roof spectators’ guide will be available at Documentation, detailing the best viewing points for each day’s mountain racing action.

Thereafter the Race Headquarters will relocate to Thaba Bosiu for the event proper, from Thursday 5 – Saturday 7 December 2019. This will also be the location of the pits, with Michelin, official tyre partner of the 2019 Motul Roof of Africa, providing a tyre-changing service and products to purchase.   

This year’s edition of the Roof will see the fan-favourite “Round the Houses” event return to the streets of Maseru which will help make the Roof as accessible as possible for spectators. 

Immediately after Round the Houses, Silver and Bronze riders will depart for Thaba Bosiu for the Time Trial component, while Gold riders will head to the Maseru Mall for the Endurocross. The Gold Endurocross section will consist of a practice, followed by qualifying, heats and a final race – meaning that there will be plenty of world-class action for spectators to enjoy. 

Riders’ starting order on the Friday (Day 2) will be determined by the previous day’s results. The route will comprise 100km – 170km of Mountain Kingdom riding with Gold riders departing from 06h00, Silver riders from 07h00 and Bronze riders from 08h00. All logistical details, including fuel points, time bars and final distances will be confirmed closer to the date. 

Racing for the final day, Saturday 7 December, will also begin at Thaba Bosiu, with riders setting off in the same pattern as on the Friday. The day’s racing will consist of a further 100km – 170km of high-altitude and high-octane Enduro riding. As on the previous day, all routes will have been scouted, marked and prepared using two 2020 KTM 300EXC TPIs, provided by official motorcycle partner KTM. 

All riders who cross the finish line within the allocated time and within the rules of the event will receive the greatly sought-after Motul Roof of Africa finishers’ medal. The top 3 overall in each category will receive a special podium award directly after the completion of the event at the Finish Podium on Saturday. The prize-giving will take place at 20h00 that evening where trophies for the top 10 in each category will be handed out as well as the special awards and mentions. 

Top Competitors to Watch
As in previous year’s, the allure of the Mother of Hard Enduro is certain to attract elite riders from both South Africa and overseas. The 2018 event saw an exciting crop of young Enduro riders firmly in the ascendant and a series of fascinating duels can be expected this year as the “old guard” fights back against the young stars. 

Names to watch this year include two four-time winners: Wade Young (the defending champion) and Graham Jarvis. Spectators will also have the chance to cheer on an outstanding field of leading Enduro riders, many of whom have proven Roof credentials. The field is likely to include the likes of Kyle Flanagan, Chris Birch, Brett Swanepoel, Scott Bouverie, Matthew Green, William “Wild Will” Gillit, William Oosthuizen and Kirsten Landman (renowned as the “the iron woman of Hard Enduro”). There will also be a number of leading Basotho riders taking part. 

For the Riders 
Route Director Altus de Wet is confident that this year’s routes (all of which have been properly and thoroughly tested) will deliver a tough but achievable Maluti Mountains experience for all riders, and outstanding viewing for spectators. “We’ve taken the opportunity to honour the heritage of the Roof, while mixing things up a little with a few new elements,” explains de Wet. 

“Repeat riders will recognise the authentic feel of the Roof, whilst still being surprised by the ways in which we’ve made it an even more relevant and compelling event,” Charan Moore added. 

Entries will increase in cost on a staggered basis until they finally close on 15 November 2019. Currently, the “Zero-hour” entries are available at R6 500.00 per rider until the closing date. Please note that no entries will be accepted after the closing date, or at the event itself. There is a cap on entries, and with 380 of the 450 places already having been filled, would-be Roof riders are urged to act sooner rather than later so as not to miss out. Please see below for links to online resources with full event regulations, entry criteria etc… 

The prestige of the Motul Roof of Africa is reflected in the roster of blue-chip sponsors who will be sponsoring this year’s race. In addition to being title sponsor, Motul will be supporting the Motul bike wash and lubrication station – a vital facility for competitors. 

All riders will be required to carry an official Roof tracking device for safety reasons. Long-time Roof partner Sarel van der Walt from African Stuff along with Sportraxs Events will be keeping track of all Roof riders and providing those all-important finishing times. 

On the subject of technology, IT support for this year’s roof will be provided by LEO. Branded merchandise – mementoes of an unforgettable experience – will be created and distributed by XCO. 

To keep your finger on the pulse of the 2019 Motul Roof of Africa action, like and follow the Motul Roof of Africa Facebook page or visit the Roof of Africa website .

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