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MPAKA – Meet Eswatini’s new National Road Champion Kwanele Jele!

The 4Eva Cycling Club cyclist has dethroned favourite Muzi Shabangu after the cycling’s flagship event yesterday. This was Jele’s maiden win after racing to the top during the elite men’s 150km road race, which started and finished at Mpaka Filling Station yesterday. Jele crossed the finish line after 3:59:15 hours while the defending champion, Shabangu, finished in 4:03:12.8 hours.  Newcomm Wheels’ Nzuzo Nsibandze completed the top three brackets on 4:09:20.6 hours. It was not a walk in the park for Jele for the better part of the race as he was behind the peloton with Shabangu or Nsibandze leading. However, Jele started charging up and catching up with his competitors and with 10km before the finishing point he took advantage of the two. He started by opening a short gap and before you knew it, he was 100 metres ahead of the two. In fact, Nsibandze had long ran out of steam and Shabangu was failing to match Jele’s pace until the finishing line.


When Jele approached the finishing point, everyone was shocked and excited at the same time as they expected the usual Shabangu to win; it was not to be as Jele stole the show, much to the celebration of his teammates who clapped in exciting. 4Eva team Principal Clinton McNamara was smiling from ear-to-ear as he watched his boy cross the finishing line and won the most important race in the cycling calender. “I trained for this win. The whole of June I was dedicated. I can say hardwork pays. It was a tough race but I had to stay strong until I completed.  I had to stay behind Muzi and I attacked in the last 10km and kept my pace high until I finished,” he said. He said he was grateful to his Team Principal Clinton McNamara.

Meanwhile, Shabangu said it was a fair race and congratulated the winner. “Nothing happened; he was good on the day.  I do not want to blame it on the bicycle I used. Jele is coming good and all thanks to his team Principal McNamara,” he said. Meanwhile, Nontsikelelo Mdlovu  was the winner in the ladies category 102km after clocking 3:26:59 hours while Sebenele Magongo came second on 3:33:26. Shirley Motsa completed the top three brackets in 4:11:19.5 hours. 4Eva Club also dominated in the 75km and 150km under 23 as Malik McNamara on 2:22:13.0 hours and Makepeace Bailey  on 4:28:30.9 hours respectively.