Uganda’s top rider Maxime Van Pee withdrew from the national team on Friday (August 19), less than 24 hours to the FIM Africa Motocross of Africa Nations Championship (MXOAN) flag-off at the Victoria Raceway Park in Garuga.
According to Team Uganda officials, Van Pee, a former Uganda national motocross team captain, gave ‘personal reasons’ for his dramatic decision to withdraw from the continental event at the last hour.
However, sources close to the rider told this website that Van Pee is actually stuck in DR Congo where he went on private engagements.
Van Pee’s exit is a big setback to Uganda’s ambitions of winning the two-day Africa event, which gets underway on Saturday (August 20) and climaxes on Sunday, August 21.
Top riders from South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Tanzania are in the competition for the championship title.
Hosts Uganda are bracing for the event with hopes of taking the home advantage to win the continental title for the second time in ten years. Uganda won the 2012 edition of the MXOAN event.
George Ssemakula, who is in charge of Team Uganda, said the host nation’s riders are ready for the showdown on the Garuga track.
Without Van Pee, Team Uganda will now rely on the likes of Hashim Sserwadda, Robert Jjingo, Alastair Blick and the Katende brothers; Miguel and Jonathan for push for the top honours.