Written by Anonymous Cycling Project at 23:25 14/3-2019|
When the cycling authorities announced new races on the OCM calendar, manager anonymous was excited at first. A lot of new races in Africa, including the first ever race in South Sudan. A pure climbing race, perfect for team captain Matari Kwesele. The team was in division 4 at the right moment and as soon as it was possible, the strongest climbers of the team were signed up. Expectations were high and the riders were looking forward to the race, despite civil war and extreme poverty taking toll on the South Sudanese population. The team had a warm welcome in Juba, where the riders stayed before the start, one day later in the village of Magwi.
However, everything that could go wrong went wrong, from there. Newly recruited jobber Neo Kasai was also present, to organize an autograph signing on behalf of local hero Baakir Ngenzebuhoro. However, he was a bit unexperienced and did not expect the enormous amount of people wanting an autograph of Baakir. He had reserved a place at the local university, but it was not big enough - by far. In the surrounding streets, hundreds of people were waiting to get even a glimpse of the best cyclist their country has ever had. Eventually, after an hour, security guards had to end the event immediately, leaving many fans disappointed.
The next day, all riders went to Magwi by bus. It was there that everything became even worse. There was almost no security for the race, and again lots of people were on the roads waiting for Baakir to appear. Eventually, the race started with a delay of 1 hour. The riders were just getting out of town and right after the neutral phase, people started running into the peloton. The ACP riders were on the front because of alphabetical starting order, so the South Sudanese champion's jersey was well visible. Baakir could not avoid getting hit and fell over, along with Danish rider Kaj Hjorth. Hjorth immediately abandoned, but Baakir resisted despite large open wounds and tried to race on anyway. Bad idea: he was severely injured, and eventually transported to a local hospital.
The other five riders stood out being some of the few Africans, but it did not go well. Matari Kwesele's motivation dropped after seeing his teammate get hurt so badly, and he could not find the energy needed for the race. The race was eventually won by breakaway rider Edward Olemans, who got away early on amidst all chaos and kept his lead.
Distracted by all the bad events, the manager forgot to keep track of Sefu Katenda, who was preparing for a time trial race in Greece and unexpectedly hit top form.
Baakir is expected to return on day 30, missing out on the Dawn of the Red Sun race in Malawi. But he probably will not see that as a disadvantage...
It also took a bit too long before I commented on it. ;P
I will send Niccolo to do the security next time round, that should do the trick.
This PR took a bit too long to write...
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