Kenyan Rider Joseph Gichora Kamau beat 130 cyclists to emerge stage one winner at the start of the third edition of Tour De Machakos cycling contest in Machakos County.
The stage involved a criterium knock-out race with no timings where all the cyclists competed in heats in a lapped section and top five finishers in each of the four heats proceeded to the finals.
Gichora made his intention for the stage known when he topped in his third heat to make the qualification for the finals which was graced and flagged off by Machakos County Governor Alfred Mutua.
The final was a closely contested affair between Gichora and Suleiman Kangangi who settled for second place after Gichora beat him on the final lap.
Apart from the trophy, Gichora was awarded Sh20, 000 as Kangangi got Sh10, 000. Joyce Nyaruri was the champion in the women category.
Salim Kipkemboi was the junior winner(men and women U-20 years) in the same race while Commonwealth and All Africa Games representative David Kinjah emerged champion in the veteran category(men and women over 40 years).
“The win today has assured me that I have a bright future in the sport. I could not attend secondary school after completing my primary education because my parents could not afford the secondary school fees. So I directed all my efforts at cycling and training with much vigour and the fruits are already paying off,”said Gichora after the race.
This year’s edition has Sh1million total prize money that is up for grabs. The annual cycling competition has attracted elite international cyclists from Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa, Nigeria, USA, France, Denmark, England and Norway.
The 2016 edition of Tour De Machakos has been split and spread into four days. The second day contest involves Mountain stage 1, starting at Machakos Peoples Park through Kathiani and back to Machakos town covering a distance of 50kms. It ends at the Garden Hotel and the winner to be crowned King of Mountain-Kathiani.
The third day will be Mountain stage 2, starting in Machakos town, through Mbooni and finish at Masii. The distance to be covered is 106kms. The winner will be crowned King of Mountain Makueni.
The fourth day will be a 100km race starting at Masii, through Kithimani and back to Masii to finish at Machakos Girls High School and the overall winner will be crowned King of Tour de Machakos.