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  • Winter Series MTB Malawi

GO HARD OR GO HOME

One of Malawi’s all-time favorites has to be this event. On the 16 June 2018 we will be celebrating 15 years of riding the Luwawa International Mountain Bike race. The event is run in aid of the Luwawa Environmental trust, which protects the forests surrounding the Luwawa lodge.

 

The long route is a tough but very enjoyable 53km while the short route is only 20km of beautiful forestry surroundings. The race starts off on jeep track, through the pine plantations and into the distant mountains with spectacular views down towards Lake Malawi. After around 20km, competitors branch off and head into indigenous forest on single track.Your concentration will be competing between keeping your bike on the technical track and sneaking a quick peak at the scenery. The last 20km of the long route will separate the “boys from the men” as you climb an estimated 1000 meters. This is a great event and a fantastic weekend of camp fires and red wine in the beautiful mountains of Luwawa.

On Saturday 16th  June, the 15th    KIA -  Luwawa International Charity Mountain Bike Marathon Race took place from Luwawa Forest Lodge Sponsored By HTD/ KIA Motors.  The race has been run under UCI  rules  since 2011 as a full International event.

 

The tough circular route of the race follows the mountain ridges around the South Viphya  Forest Reserve covering a distance of 53 km and passing through some of the most beautiful and challenging mountain biking country in Malawi with superb views looking out towards lake Malawi

 

It was a beautiful sunny morning  in the mountains  at Luwawa Forest Lodge as the competitors did last minute adjustment to their  mountain bikes and enthusiasm and excitement ran high amongst competitors and organizers alike.  There were  teams from  Blantyre Cycling Club, Lilongwe FOB'S, Luwawa Forest lodge, Mzuzu Cycling Club.

 

 The previous winner from last year  Steven Nazombe of Blantyre Cycling Club was there  and had entered hoping to maintain his  title as the fastest man over the course.

 

With  32 competitors registered  for the race, at 10.00 am the race got underway with  Steven Nazombe , Lenard Soyo and  Missi Kathumbi  all of Blantyre Cycling club in the  lead  pack with Blessings Kumwenda in close contention  of Mzuzu Cycling club.  By half way Lenard Soyo  had managed to draw out a good lead  ahead of Steven Nazombe   and Blessings Kumwenda.  

  This lead was maintained throughout  the race but the other two  elite cyclists where never far behind.   A very tight and well fought race with Lenard Soyo Finishing first in  2hrs 4minutes and 45 seconds and new course record, with Steve Nazombe  second in 2hrs 7minutes and 45 seconds with Blessings Kumwenda  of Mzuzu Cycling club in third place in 2hrs 8minutes and 40 seconds. In fourth place was Missi Kathumba of Blantyre C.C meaning that Blantrye Cycling club won the Selmar Gassen Memorial Team Trophy having the first three team members to finish.

 

 

The first lady to finish Amy Stenoien  who finished in a time of  3hrs 13mins 25  followed closely by Sibongire Shaba in a time of 3hrs 17mins 55seconds.

 

Thirty  one Competitors managed to completed this tough mountain and forest  course with only one person retiring.

 

The trophies and monetary prizes were presented at 16:00 hrs  in the beautiful gardens of Luwawa Lodge By The KIA motors representative.  The First three men's  & First three Ladies Prizes  where  donated  by  HTD Limited / KIA Motors  who have shown serious commitment in the long term sponsorship of this International  event.   

 

Mr George  Wardlow the Race Director thanked all the sponsors and Particularly KIA motors, his staff and volunteer helpers who had helped to make this year’s Fifteenth event  a great success.

Short route winners: 

Ladies:

1st Faye Yu

Men: 

  1st Isaac Masiska

2nd Mphatso Mphande

 3rd Kenneth Chikazunga

Long route winners:

Ladies:

1st Amy Stenoien

2nd Sibongire Shaba

Men:

1st Leonard Tsoyo

2nd Steven Nazombe

3rd Blessings Kumwenda