'Roof of Africa' returns in 2021 as riders descend on Lesotho for epic showdown

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• The Motul Roof of Africa returns in 2021 after Covid-19 curtailed it last year.

• Several high-profile riders will line up for the event, including Wade Young.

• The event kicks off on late November in Lesotho.

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More than 400 riders will tough it out when one of Africa's most iconic Hard Enduro events returns on 24 November, after the Motul Roof of Africa saw its second-ever postponement as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

To celebrate its return, a new Iron Class has been added to give lesser experienced riders the chance to experience the mountains of Lesotho from the saddle. The new class will be run alongside the established Gold, Silver and Bronze Classes.

Event organisers of Live Lesotho have refined the format to achieve a perfect balance between challenging elements and striving to ensure the safety of riders and their support crews. This will see each rider limited to just five support crew members.

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Start of Round The Houses of Motul Roof of Africa 2019 edition

Similar format

The format this year will be similar to 2019, with the notable exception of the EnduroX component. The organisers decided to avoid mass gatherings while Covid-19 is still a consideration. 

Wednesday, 24 November, is set aside for riders to complete the required documentation and scrutineering sessions. While the process, which will take place at the Avani Lesotho Hotel and Casino, will be streamlined to facilitate social distancing, it will not be less rigorous, Live Lesotho promises. 

The next day will see the Round the Houses component through the streets of Maseru, followed by a Time Trial at Thaba Bosiu for all classes. Friday 26 and Saturday 27 November will be Race Day 1 and 2, respectively, and the start/finish will be at Thaba Bosiu, headquarters for the event. 

Charan Moore, Motul Roof of Africa Route Director and Manager of Live Lesotho, said: "This year's Motul Roof of Africa will be the result of two years' planning and plotting new routes, so we're certain that riders will feel it was worth the wait. We can confidently promise both Roof rookies and returning riders a rewarding, challenging course - something they will never forget."

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Epic trails and meticulously marked routes await the 2021 Roof of Africa contenders

The champ is back

Defending Roof champion Wade Young of the Sherco Racing Factory Motul Team, hot off the international circuit, will head this year's field. Young defend his crown in the face of stiff Gold Class competition from the likes of Travis Teasdale (Trax GasGas), Brett Swanepoel (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna), Matt Green (Matthew Green Racing), Luke Walker (McLarens bLU cRU Yamaha), Kerim Fitzgerald (Red Bull KTM) and Heinrich Aust (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna).

Kirsten Landman (Brother Leadertread KTM) will be tackling the Gold Class as training for next year's Dakar Rally. Confirmed participants in other classes include riders from the Netherlands, Germany, Australia, Egypt, Malawi, Botswana, Namibia and Swaziland, and a strong showing of Basotho riders.

READ: Downtime with Wade Young: South Africa's motorcycling hard man

Motul, always a strong presence in local motorsport, will be sponsoring the Bike Wash facility in partnership with Eco Tanks and Goscor Power Products, with Craig Kruger and his team providing facility management. 

Mercia Jansen, Motul Area Manager for Southern and Eastern Africa, commented: "We are very much looking forward to reconnecting with our friends in the Enduro community - whilst still respecting social distance guidelines. Last year's postponement left a gap in our diaries, so we're especially looking forward to returning to Lesotho and the Maloti Mountains." 

roof of africa,wade young
Wade Young, current Motul Roof of Africa champion, took the win at the 2019 edition

Reopened borders

Lesotho's management of Covid-19 has led to borders being reopened for tourists and riders alike. Only one negative PCR test is required to enter Lesotho and must be done within 72 hours of crossing the border. Since the test result, if negative, is valid for 14 days, no second test is required within Lesotho. Rapid tests are available at the border, but this needs to be repeated on exit. Lesotho has also implemented drive-through border formalities, although South Africa has yet to follow suit. 

The efforts of the stakeholders, including sponsors and the Lesotho Government, has contributed significantly to the excitement that is building around the Motul Roof of Africa 2021. In addition to being an exciting motorsport event, the Roof also provides a welcome boost to a local tourism sector that the pandemic has hard hit. 

For more information about this year's Roof, including the Covid-19 measures that will be in place, visit the official Motul Roof of Africa Facebook page. For further information and to enter the event, visit the official Motul Roof of Africa website.

roof of africa
The Maloti Mountains are calling
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