The fifth edition of the race follows the traditional route starting in Biretwo, Kenya. After 15km the first big climb begins going up to almost 2400 meters. The riders then turn around and go on the descent, passing the start line again. Shortly after the second big ascent with more than 1300 meters of climbing begins. It passes Salims home Village and reaches the famous gate of Iten where the finish line is.
Salim was extremely happy to take the win. In a race recap he told us his impressions and thoughts about the race.
„It was a nervous morning. The race started at 7:30am and it covered 120km with more than 3000 meters of climbing. It wasn’t much about tactics but more about power and endurance. On the first part of a big climb I pushed hard to set the peloton under pressure. It worked out pretty well and we split into a ten men breakaway. On the second part of the climb attacks started and I was able to leave the group behind with two more Kenyan riders. The last climb was another 25km and I managed to go alone. In the end I reached the finish line first leaving the second rider more than ten minutes behind. For me it was incredible to win in Iten. Especially the last climb, where I passed my home village all on my own, felt very special to me!“
We are proud to see Salim playing a major role in the development of cycling in Kenya. His experience and achievements are an inspiration to many people in his home country. He is proving his skills, talent and knowledge in races but also outside of sports. This leads to a growing community of cyclists and structures that are necessary for cycling. It is great to see a positive change that enables more and more people to ride a bike in their free time! The Great Rift Valley Challenge confirmed this development by having a very diverse field of riders.
Pictures by Kimesh Pictures