Fierce competition is expected at the Dimension Data Route 73 Mountain Biking Race that gets underway this morning (Sunday). The battle will be intensified by the hike in the price money from P1500 to P5000 for the 73km race winner. The hike in price money comes as Dimension Data Managing Director Duncan Pie vows to grow the race to greater heights. As the title sponsors of the race, Dimension Data has pumped in P250 000 sponsorship into the event. The 2017 Dimension Data Route 73 MTB race, which is held in partnership with Cycle for Life Club, is the second edition with the first one held in 2016. Pie said the first edition was a great success, but insisted that they want to further grow the race and use it to explore new technologies. “We have been looking for a sport code which will help us leverage on the use of technology and cycling proved to be that code,” said Pie. Dimension Data is an ICT company operating in 58 countries around the world. Pie said they want to see the race growing in leaps and bounds. He promised that next year’s edition will be even bigger as the company will be celebrating 25 years of operation in Botswana. To show commitment of the growth of the race there has been an increase in the price money. In 2016 the price money for the biggest race (73km) was P1500 and this year it has been hiked to P5000.
Cycling for Life Club captain Leutlwetse Kgosidialwa concurred with Pie on the growth of the race. He said last year the race attracted 250 cyclists and are now expecting more participants. Kgosidialwa said even though the race is currently for local riders, they have ambitions of inviting foreign riders to the next edition. “Going forward we want to invite professional riders to take part in this race as we want to grow it,” he said. Kgosidialwa said this race is the only one of its kind in the country and they want to see it growing to match many across the world. The two parties want to see the competition growing and benefiting Batswana. Dimension Data does not only support local cycling competition as it is also a technical partner for the just ended Tour de France as well as the ABSA Cape Epic MTB race in South Africa. It is for this reason that Pie believes that the partnership with Cycle for Life Club is a perfect match. He said the club has proven to be determined to grow the competition in the first edition. “Cycle for Life has been determined and has shown very high professionalism which will make it easy for the competition to grow when run well,” he said.