Cycling Federation of Malawi (CFM) has challenged athletes to win the June 20 Presidential Cycling Championships by international standard time if they are to get full winners prizes.
The race is expected to cover a 160-kilometre stretch, which will be done in stanzas of 20-km circuits from Mchinji Road Round-about in Lilongwe.
According to CFM general secretary Jimmy Kadewere, it worries them that ever since the competition started in 2009, no local cyclist has attained the Union of International Cycling (UCI) recommended time of 2:56:00 hours for the distance.
Steve Nazombe won last year’s race in the men’s category after clocking 4:36:07hours, almost two hours behind the standard time while Rebecca Kaleso crossed the finish line in 4:39:05 hours to take the ladies’ honours.
Kadewere said the aim of the competition is not for cyclists to win prizes, but to prepare them for international competitions, which only suit international record-breakers.
“Cyclists do not just need to win the race to deserve the full K80 000 winner’s purse, but to win it within the recommended time. If they fail to do so, their prizes will be trimmed in accordance with their closeness to the standard period,” said Kadewere.
This means that runner-up and third-placed cyclists will take home the full prizes of K60 000 and K40 000 respectively, in both categories, if they cross the finish line within 2:56 hours.