KANSANSHI CYCLIST ANDREW PYELE TAKES SECOND IN SOUTH AFRICA
SOLWEZI, ZAMBIA – After a successful weekend at the Route 66 Mountain Bike Stage Race in Gauteng province, South Africa, Kansanshi Cycling Team travelled north to Limpopo this week, where they competed in the Sondela Mountain Bike Marathon this weekend. The team put in yet another strong showing, with Andrew Pyele finishing in second place, just one second behind South African professional rider Lenre Coetzee. Davies Kawemba finished in third, four minutes behind the leading pair.
The result came as retribution for the twenty-one-year-old Pyele, who suffered severe food poisoning two days before the Route 66 race, and missed out on his chance for a good result there.
Pyele explained, “For the first ten kilometres we were all together, then Coetzee put in a big attack. I was the only rider who managed to go with him, and then it was just the two of us battling for the rest of the race. We both pushed to our limit, but neither of us could escape the other. In the end, I made a small mistake on the final corner, and he gained a few metres on me. That was where I lost the one second, but I am still very happy with second place.”
In this two-race tour of South Africa, Kansanshi’s riders had the chance to compete against a small number of professional riders, as well as top amateurs. Having won at the junior level in 2021, the riders have now demonstrated their ability to contest for wins at the top amateur level. With the exception of veteran rider Michael Olokani, the team that travelled to South Africa was entirely made up of riders in their first and second years as senior riders. Their prime years are still nearly a decade ahead of them, and in that time there is much potential for improvement. The next challenge will come when they take the next step up.
The South African cycling calendar contains some of the world’s most prestigious mountain bike events. The ABSA Cape Epic, which takes place just outside of Cape Town every March, is the world’s highest ranked mountain bike event: equal in prestige with the Tour de France. As Kansanshi’s riders crest the world of amateur cycling, the team will turn its eyes to events such as the Cape Epic to propel Zambia’s cyclists to the very pinnacle of global sport.
About First Quantum Minerals Ltd
First Quantum Minerals Ltd is a global metals and mining company producing mainly copper, gold and zinc. The company’s assets are in Zambia, Spain, Mauritania, Australia, Finland, Turkey, Panama, Argentina and Peru.
In 2021, First Quantum globally produced 816,435 tonnes of copper, 312,492 ounces of gold and 16,818 tonnes of nickel.
In Zambia it operates the Kansanshi mine and smelter in Solwezi and the Trident mine in Kalumbila.
The company is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.