This year’s Roof is now just a month away (24 – 28 November 2021) , and organisers are putting the finishing touches to what will be a very welcome return for one of Africa’s most iconic Hard Enduro events.
The buzz around the return of the Motul Roof of Africa – after only its second-ever postponement – can be judged by the fact that over 400 entries have already been received for this year’s event. Alongside the established Gold, Silver and Bronze Classes, a new Iron Class has been added to give ‘weekend warriors’ the chance to experience the mountains of Lesotho from the saddle.
As the event approaches, organisers Live Lesotho have further 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.
The format this year will be similar to 2019, but with the notable exception of the EnduroX component. This decision was taken by Live Lesotho in an effort to avoid mass gatherings while COVID-19 is still a consideration.
On Wednesday 24 November, riders will need to go through the required documentation and scrutineering sessions. The process will take place at the Avani Lesotho Hotel & Casino (top hotel) and will be streamlined to facilitate social distancing – without being in any way less rigorous.
On Thursday 25 November, the program will run as follows:
Friday 26 and Saturday 27 November, will be Race Day 1 and 2 respectively, and the start/finish will be a Thaba Bosiu, headquarters for the event.
“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,” commented Charan Moore, Motul Roof of Africa Route Director and Manager of Live Lesotho. “We can confidently promise both Roof rookies and returning riders a rewarding, challenging course – something they will never forget,” he added.
Speaking of returning riders, this year’s field will be headed by defending Roof champion Wade Young of the Sherco Racing Factory Motul Team. When he lines up at the start of the Mother of Hard Enduro, Young will be hot off the international circuit – he’s reportedly delighted to have the chance to try and retain 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, as well as a strong showing of Basotho riders. The Roof is therefore providing a welcome boost to a local tourism sector that has been hard hit by the pandemic.
To make life a little easier for competitors, Motul 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. While motorcycle manufacturers will endeavour to support teams and individual competitors during the event in ways that are aligned with COVID protocols.
“We are very much looking forward to reconnecting with our friends in the Enduro community – whilst still respecting social distance guidelines,” commented Mercia Jansen, Motul Area Manager for Southern and Eastern Africa. “Last year’s postponement left a gap in our diaries, so we’re especially looking forward to returning to Lesotho and the Maloti Mountains,” she added.
Lesotho’s management of COVID-19 has led to borders being re-opened for tourists (and riders). Only one negative PCR test is required for entry into Lesotho, and this must be within 72 hours of crossing the border. This negative result is then valid for 14 days, meaning that 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-though border formalities, although South Africa has yet to follow suit.
The hard work of all stakeholders, including sponsors and the Lesotho Government has contributed significantly to the excitement that is building around the Motul Roof of Africa 2021. 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: www.roofofafrica.co.ls