Illovo Sugar Malawi has increased its sponsorship for the Illovo Cycling Classic Championship to K1 million from K750 000.
The news was announced on Tuesday by the companyâ€™s national sales manager Walter Nyamilandu ahead of this yearâ€™s competition slated for Sunday in Blantyre.
Nyamilandu said the company has seen a lot of improvement in the game since they started sponsoring it seven years ago; hence, their continued commitment to assisting the game.
â€œThe profile of the game has risen a lot and the game is attractive to sponsor. We see this venture as worthwhile,â€ said Nyamilandu.
He also said they have recommended the extension of the route from 80 kilometres to 115 kilometres to match international standards.
Cycling Federation of Malawi (CFM) president Andrew Mkwezalamba thanked Illovo for the sponsorship, saying it is the backbone of the sportâ€™s development programme in the country.
Apart from cash prizes, the top two winners will automatically qualify for the Cape Argus competition to take place next March in Cape Town, South Africa.
Meanwhile, the Lilongwe cycling team is looking for K50 000 to enable it to take part in the competition on Sunday.
Among other necessities, the Lilongwe team of Kenneth Masauko Chikazunga, George Mvula and Anthony Banda needs the money for transport and spares for their bicycles.
â€œAll of us are good cyclists who can bring honours to the Central Region if properly supported,â€ said Chikazunga, who is the team leader.
Mkwezalamba has appealed to companies to assist the Lilongwe team so as to make the tournament more competitive.
In a related development, last yearâ€™s Illovo Cycling Classic third and fourth-placed winners Martin Mtawali and Leonard Tsoyo will take part in the 94.7 Cycling Challenge race in Johannesburg South Africa on November 18.