Main Event (120 KM):
Frank Ssentamu (2:02:00)
Leone Matovu (2:03:59)
Frank Ssentamu posted a time of 2 hours and 2 minutes to win his maiden major cycling event as he clean swept a strong field of over 57 cyclists to claim the 120 Kilometer race on Friday.
This event was organized by Buganda Province Cycling Association in conjuction with Uganda Cycling Federation to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II.
“Am humbled to have given my all energy and beat strong experienced men in the race”, said the senior four drop-out, who resides in Kyengera, a suburb of Kampala City. It attracted cyclists from as far as Mbarara, Iganga, Jinja, Mayuge, Bugiri, Masaka, Luwero and within Kampala.
The 20 lap race around Lubiri ring road was officially flagged off by Kabaka Mutebi’s brother, Omulagiira David Namiige, who was flanked by the Kingdom minister for Culture and Youth.
Despite the relatively fair competition exhibited by the athletes, a nasty accident happened to Veteran Cyclist, David Matovu, who was leading the rest coming into the last lap, but he collided with a boda boda cyclist and his 1000 dollar bike was damaged beyond repair although he escaped death by a whisk.
Ssentamu, who rode closer to Matovu capitalized on the latter’s disguise to take over the route leadership with just 800 metres left to finish off the victor.
His fans carried him aloft higher whilst signing various victory songs. He was decorated with a golden medal, an envelope worthy Ug.shs 50,000/= and a certificate. However, the scene almost turned chaotic as most fans and cyclists too turned rowdy shortly after the award giving ceremony attacking the organizing for being mean as they decried the “little” prize money availed to the top race performers.
In the ladies’ category, Peninah Nakintu carried home the winning rights, which came forth with a trophy, a certificate and Ug.Shs 50,000.
8 year old Ethine Tuwabaze impressed in the 18 Km race while the biggest applause of the day belonged to a 13 year old, a Ssekanwangi, a son to David Matovu, who competed in the 30 Km race but also managed to finish up the 120 Kilometre main race.
The race sponsors were: Buganda Kingdom, CBS F.M, Mukwaya General Hospital (opposite American Embassy), Century Bottling Company under the brand of Coca Cola, Dassani Mineral Water, Muyonyo High School, Naluvule Campus, Kingdom F.M, TOP-Television and Radio, Sim Events and Promotions and Makindye Division Councillor and sports journalist, Allan Ssewanyana.