Mark your calender. The Roof of Africa returns to the Kingdom of Lesotho. The 41st edition of the legendary race takes place from 27 to 29 November 2008, and race promoter BABOONS, together with KTM, impress yet again with an exciting race package for European participants. Following the magnificient revival of 2007, the Mother of all Hard Enduro events keeps raising the bar. And those die-hard enthusiasts who accept the challenge will be rewarded big time. With breath-taking mountains. Through African tradition. By a course laid out to seperate the men from the boys.

Originally the Roof was a car race, but soon motorcycles and quads were added. From 20 participants during its 1967 debut, the event grew steadily and the 2006 event saw more than 500 bikes and quads on the line – all desperate to earn the prestigious finisher batch.

Last year BABOONS took command by purchasing the international marketing rights from the national Lesotho organisation and together they decided to make it a motorcycle-only event – due to logistics and infrastructure. This move allowed for a much more selective race course and resulted in only 10 per cent of the about 250 starters in the 2007 event actually taking the chequered flag.

This year‘s three-day spectacle will again kick off with a Supermoto-style prologue through the capital of Maseru. The track will be lined by thousands of local Basothos who are well known for their friendly enthusiasm. There‘s little doubt they‘ll turn the streets into a madhouse – in the word‘s very best meaning.

While the opening may be unique, and the following 80 time trial km still on the easy side, the real challenge is to unfold the next morning when 400 km of outright honest off road terrain present their ugly face. Honest because there‘s neither a road book nor any connecting or special stages. The whole course is marked by a colour system that‘s easy to comprehend while at race pace. This allows maximum concentration and plays a big part in why there never have been serious accidents or even fatalities in the history of the „Roof“.

But there‘s also the option of navigating by GPS if desired.

The nasty course offers all you could possibly ask for: winding trails, rocky up- and treacherous downhills, tricky corners, drifts, river beds, 3000-plus mountain giants. You name it, Lesotho has it.

When the day is finally done, the hotel in Maseru forms the base camp for the next day. Then, much to everyone‘s joy, the torture starts all over again. Just on a different path.

The scoring couldn‘t be any simpler, too. The quickest after three days wins. Period. But be warned again. At average no more then 10 per cent do receive the prestigious finisher batch during the closing awards ceremony. Such survivors will be entered into the „Roof Ranking of Fame“ inside which, even after so many years, only a handful of European names can be found.

For the 2008 edition, race promoter BABOONS and KTM offers the following all-inclusive packages for European participants: return flight, service, catering, fuel, a „readyto-race“ KTM 300, and more. The price for all of this and a once-in-a-lifetime experience is ca. EUR 3,500. Oh yes, before we forget: we know of certain KTM and BMW factory riders eager to take their rivalry to the Roof this coming November.

They‘ve marked their calendars well. What about you? Further informations and highres-photos download:

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Do it again!

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