Inaugural ‘Eldoret Cycle 100’ bike race attracts impressive entry

Great Africa Cycling Safari

Cyclists drawn from East Africa Community member States arrive in Nakuru County on August 15, 2021 during the fourth edition of the Great Africa Cycling Safari.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Event organiser Martin Keino said at a press conference that they were bringing more sports to the region which has been dominated by athletics for a long time.
  • Keino said that the theme of the event is “Conservation for Kaptagat Forest and Mitigation for Climate Change”.

Eldoret is better known for athletics, and you would expect every competition held there to be a foot race. But this Sunday, there will be racing of a different kind.

The inaugural “Eldoret Cycle 100” bike race will be held and has attracted hundreds of participants.

The race, according to the organisers, will be used to raise awareness on conservation of Kaptagat Forest that straddles Uasin Gishu and Elgeyo Marakwet counties.

The main race will be a competitive 100km, while there will be fun rides of 50km and 25km.

Event organiser Martin Keino said at a press conference that they were bringing more sports to the region which has been dominated by athletics for a long time.

Keino said that the theme of the event is “Conservation for Kaptagat Forest and Mitigation for Climate Change”.

He said many sponsors were willing to donate trees for planting and improving the Kaptagat forest cover.

The bike race will start at Ilula on the outskirts of Eldoret town, head to Talget and Kipchawat before crossing to Kaptarakwa and Nyaru in Elgeyo Marakwet. Riderw will then hit Kaptagat before finishing at the point where the race started.

Prize money for the winning cyclist is Sh200,000. Registration fee is Sh1,000 and all kinds of bicycles are permitted including road bikes, mountain bikes, and even the famous Black Mamba.

There will be under-20 categories.

 “We shall have one of the best bike races in this region and are happy as organisers that many people have shown interest. It will be a big event which we plan to hold annually,” said Keino.

He revealed that this will be the first of many cycling events which will be held in the region.

“Such events normally unearth great talent and we hope that Sunday’s race will produce new champions who will be nurtured to compete internationally. We have seen Eritreans doing well in world cycling and Kenyans can emulate them,” he added.

Jared Otiende of Mama Cycling Group in Eldoret said that after Covid-19 pandemic struck, many people picked up cycling and there is a large number of fans who will participate in Sunday’s race.

 “We stand for the non-motorist transport as one way of supporting the environment and seeing many people embracing cycling is encouraging and we want to ask fans to turn up in large numbers and experience the course which is exciting,” said Otiende.

A number of international cyclists who are training at Kaptagat and Iten in Elgeyo Marakwet will be expected to compete on Sunday.

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