The saying dynamite comes in small packages will forever ring true for Botswana’s budding cyclist, Matshidiso Ebudilwe, aged 21 who recently jetted off to Austria to undergo a month-long training courtesy of Intersport Maria ALM. The sensational and passionate cyclist has been invited to go train and study her love at the academy which hosts some of the highest ranked cyclists from around the world.
The invite comes shortly after the young Tsela Riders member participated at the just ended Nedbank Tour de Tuli held between three countries (Zimbabwe, South Africa and Botswana) and had featured over 250 cyclists. The Nedbank Tour de Tuli has been running for the past 12 years and is a renowned, premier mountain bike tour through some of Africa’s most pristine wilderness areas in Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
It is the main fundraiser for Children in the Wilderness (CITW), and all funds raised by the tour are channelled directly into CITW. Speaking to #BotswanaUnplugged just before she left, an excited Ebudilwe said she will use the four weeks of training and competition as part of her preparations to her dream move of qualifying for the Tokyo2020 Olympics thus becoming the first Motswana to qualify.
“I am excited to be selected to be part of this international training. I have been working hard in the last two years and finally hard work is paying off. I have numerous accomplishments to argue my debate of hard work. I started cycling in 2014 at the age 18 and competed in my first set of races in 2014. In 2014, I got 1st in the female Junior Botswana National Road Championship, same year I got 2nd Female Junior Botswana National Time Trail Championship, 2015 – 2nd Female Botswana National Time Trail Championship, 2015-2nd Female Botswana National Road Championship, 2015 – National champion Mountain biking,” said Ebudilwe.
Ebudilwe is currently the top ranked woman cyclist in Botswana and just recently signed a contract with a professional mountain bike team dubbed African Dream Team in the mountain kingdom of Lesotho. The team is currently ranked number one in Africa and 27th in the world.
The ingenious and determined Ebudilwe noted that her ambitions are set for 2018 where she is aiming to compete in at least seven recognized Union Cyclists international races that will include the Commonwealth Games, African Continental Championships, World Championships and the South African MTB Cup Series. She has also promised to continue to challenge for top honours in the local racing calendar.
Ebudilwe is currently ranked 288 in the world, 17 in Africa in the UCI standings, and for cyclists under-23 she is ranked 55 in the world and 4th in Africa. The young cyclist is expected back home on October 5th.