Thousands attend Speak-sponsored bike race in Sierra Leone
The first ever Tour de Lunsar received an unprecedented level of support, including an appearance from the newly elected president of the Sierra Leonean Cycling Association.
Last weekend, an estimated 5,000 fans attended the first ever Tour de Lunsar – a speak-sponsored bike race taking place in Sierra Leone, west Africa.
The event, hosted in Lunsar – a city in the country’s northern province – included a men’s, women’s and junior race. The winners were awarded with a share of the 850,000 Le prize pot – the largest ever in Sierra Leonean cycling history.
Despite being a brand new event, the Tour de Lunsar attracted a huge level of support – and was even attended by recently elected president of the Sierra Leonean Cycling Association, Winston Crowther.
Next stop, the world
The race was organised by the Lunsar Cycling Team, with which Speak Media has been partnering since 2017.
As part of the event sponsorship, Speak collaborated with UK cyclewear designer Le Col to create bespoke cycling shirts for the winners of all three races.
Speak Media also provided a range of cycling hats, marketing materials, and food and drink for all those who participated.
Karim Kamara, captain of the Lunsar Cycling Team, and one of the organisers of the event, said: “We’ve organised races in the past, but the sponsorship from Speak Media has allowed us to scale up and launch our first ever Tour de Lunsar.
“It’s been fantastic, everything went perfectly and we’ve had cyclists from all over the country come and compete. This is the first step towards bringing the race to even more people in both Sierra Leone, and the rest of the world.”
In the men’s race, Ali Tholley – who represents Freetown cycle club C2C – beat off competition from 29 other riders to be crowned champion.
The women’s race was won by national women’s champion Isata Sama Mondeh, who was representing the Makeni Team, and the junior winner was Lunsar Cycling Team’s very own Moses Kamara.
Paul Williams, Speak Media client services director, said: “The first ever Tour de Lunsar is yet another exciting milestone in the growing partnership between ourselves and the Lunsar Cycling Team in Sierra Leone.
“What started as an idea from former Speakster Tom Owen has snowballed into one of the most exciting projects we have worked on – with our team sponsoring the team’s kits, providing equipment and helping to fund the club’s biggest ever cycling event.
“It’s a privilege to work with Lunsar, and we are delighted to be able to play a small part in the team’s continued success.”