HomeUncategorizedKansanshi Mining’s Famed Cycling Weekend

Kansanshi Mining’s Famed Cycling Weekend

Solwezi town of North Western Province this weekend came alive once again playing host to the country’s prestigious First Quantum Minerals (FQM) Kansanshi cycling tournament bringing together almost 300 riders from all ages to compete.
This year’s competitively attended event marks 10 years since the mining giant birthed the idea that has so far moulded some of the top tenacious riders flying the Zambian flag high at regional, continental and global stages.
Tournament Coordinator, Ryan Ellis, described the Kansanshi Cycling weekend contest as a two-day tournament characterised by mountain bike race in the 50 kilometres, 25 kilometres, 12 kilometres, three kilometres and one point seven kilometres race categories.
Speaking from Solwezi’s Trident College grounds where the event has been held, Ellis defined the Kansanshi Cycling weekend as one of the more technically challenging routes on Zambia’s mountain biking circuit.
“It is often an event where the celebrated Kansanshi Cycling Team identifies new talent, and some of our riders have been recruited after impressive performances here,” Ellis explained.
He said that the Kansanshi mountain bike race had some of the highest participation numbers of any race on the international cycling calendar, and attracts the top riders from around the country hence winning it was a major point of pride for any rider.
This year has seen 21 tots of ages ranging from two years successfully complete the 1.7 kilometres while the 3 kilometres race had seven kiddies battle it out.
The 50km race was won by Kansanshi Cycling Team’s Ernest Mazabuka, finishing in a time of two hours and one mute, just one minute ahead of his teammate Bedias Tunkanya.
In the women’s race, Christine Coppinger of Jivundu took the win ahead of Solwezi’s Kirstin McDonald.
The General Manager of Kalumbila Mine, Mr. Sean Egner took part in the 50km race, finishing an impressive 15th position.
The Kansanshi Cycling Team, Ellis said, gives opportunity to young people of Solwezi who have a passion for the sport, but do not necessarily have the means to access it.
“Currently, the programme provides coached cycling sessions to over 100 kids at various schools around Solwezi on any given weekday. The best performers in the school cycling programmes are given the opportunity to ride for the team as professionals, in which case they also receive sponsored education, fantastic job opportunities, and prospect of earning a spot on a European or South African team,” Ellis said.
Bell Equipment Company Zambia Limited, like previously, is once again top sponsorship partner of the 2021 Kansanshi Cycling Weekend.
Bell Service Manager, Tyrone Coetzee who presented prizes to winners of various race categories of the Saturday races described this year’s tournament as successful, worth sponsoring and a healthy sport enjoyed by families too.
“This year’s event is going on very well, everybody in the greater Solwezi has had enough of the Covid-19 siting at homes without joining our friends and families and this one has once again been the opportunity to get together, get out enjoy the sunshine, the valley and sit together as a community. We will continue supporting it,” Coetzee said.

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