The article below was written by DR_Staff and is viewable in its original format at Dirt Rider.com
Great excitement is building for the 2010 Roof of Africa to be held from 25 to 27 November in the mountains of the Kingdom of Lesotho. The 43rd running of the event promises to be radically different, making it a lot more attractive for competitors and spectators.
Time to make a bold statement – that was the attitude and approach of the Lesotho Off-Road Association (LORA) the national organizers Adventure Lesotho and Extreme Offroad Promotions as well as Baboons, the international promoter of the 2010 edition of the event. This year there should see minimal DNFs (Did Not Finish) – that is, most competitors will receive a ‘Finisher’s Badge’. As it was decided to completely change the format this year; each rider will determine which level of achievement he plans to conquer during the last race day.
However, last year the Friday and Saturday routes were very difficult for the average competitor and therefore the organizers went back to the drawing board and came up with an immaculate format to suit a much bigger field.
It states: when the first set of hard sections on Thursday and Friday are passed and the competitor doesn`t get to the top of it within a previously defined time frame, that competitor will be time barred – like the years before. But the competitor is not out of race. He only gets a penalty and may start next day.
The outlook on the final race day: Riders will have to reach pre-determined points to achieve a bronze, silver or gold finish. After completing the bronze section a competitor can attempt the silver and so forth, as long as they are within the set time limits. By implementing serious time controls at each stage, the organizers prevent late finishers and ensure that everyone arrives at the finish before dark. In this way everybody is ranked in the final result.
“We want to make it possible for competitors to obtain finishers badges this year, the competitors themselves determine whether they receive Gold, Silver, or Bronze. The format is in a way similar to some of the other World Extreme Enduro Championship Races in that there are different levels of difficulty to conquer,” said Peter Luck from LORA.
The new format will create a lot of excitement, however, the race will keep its position as one, if not the most gruelling Enduro race in the world. This will be clearly demonstrated on the final race day as competitors battle with the Maluti Mountains to achieve their set goals, and it will be no walk in the park.
It is believed that the new race format will also improve race safety as competitors will all be accounted for in a much simpler fashion. Marshalling and control of times will be very strict, ensuring exact entry and exit monitoring at obstacle sets.
A large contingent of international competitors will participate in this year’s event, with the top Southern African riders training very hard to stop Kiwi Chris Birch from achieving a hatrick of wins. The KTM master dominated the 2008 and 2009 events even though BMW’s Andreas Lettenbichler launched a major attempt last year. In 2010 Letti will be flanked by BMW’s factory rider Simo Kirssi.
Taddy Blazusiak was forced to withdraw from the 2009 Roof of Africa because he was injured, but he will hopefully compete this year and he definitely poses a threat to last year’s front runners.
Although it officially starts in 2011, competitors are very aware of the WXEC because from next year they will compete for overall championship status. With a growing international contingent expected this year, the 2010 Roof of Africa promises to be a very exciting event.
Entries for the 2010 Roof of Africa opened 1 August 2010. Visit the official Roof-of-Africa website.
The worlds best heed the call each November to make their name at “The Roof of Africa” extreme enduro race. For over 40 years, this race has been in existence and hundreds of riders arrive in hopes of including this exclusive trophy to their cases.