82-year-old charms Tour de Great Dyke

Yesterday, Dube, the oldest in the race received ovations from various speakers as he registered for the race.

WILSON Boka Dube rolled back the years as he lined up for the Nedbank Tour de Great Dyke displaying a physique fit enough to convince even Warriors coach, Brito to give him a national team call up.

The 82-year-old, cycling genius from Zvishavane, has relocated to his rural home in Chivi, Masvingo but still represents his native club each time he gets an opportunity.

Yesterday, Dube, the oldest in the race received ovations from various speakers as he registered for the race.

He revealed he has tasted the sun from both sides during his hey days and just by the fact that the next oldest athlete is 52 years old, he is a winner already as he holds a 22-year gap advantage.

"In 1968 I won 10km and 20km events and from that time I started breaking records for fun," Dube told Independent Sport.

"In Chisipite, Harare I clocked eight minutes 45 seconds in a Time Trial race and in the 800m race, I took just a minute 18 seconds in Shurugwi. I then broke the 3km record in three minutes three seconds. Those are my three records."

With the rainy season upon us and farming activities underway, Dube quips that he was excused from tilling the land as long as there were cycling activities.

"I used to brag about it saying that if you don't beat my record then you haven't started cycling," he said.

"It's been a very long time on the track, 57 years to be precise cycling from 16 June 1966 that's when I began competing in Mhangura then it was called Chamber of Mine and have never looked back since then.

"I gave birth to my sons, took them through cycling but they have since stopped. I then took the art to my grandchildren but now they look as if they are pregnant with big potbellies, they can't ride the bicycle anymore.

"I think it can only be grace because most of the guys I cycled with are now late, others stopped cycling and it pains me much that they have departed the face of the earth.

"My challenge is that I don't have a bike of my own. I'm being assisted by my nephew Enock Phiri, who works in Mimosa and struggle to maintain the wheel tyres and cyling shoes. Whenever I get these things I do my routine 110km training from Masvingo to Chivi though the age catching up with me now."

Chloride Zimbabwe has pledged to install a solar system at Dube's home in Chivi in recognition of his contribution to health and fitness and more importantly to cycling sport.

The Nedbank Tour de Great Dyke, organised by YAFM, is also supported by platinum mining companies Zimplats, Unki and Mimosa.

The cycling endurance race has partners, including Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe, Econet Wireless, Cimas, Nyaradzo, Simbisa Brands, Exide Batteries, Sterling Hotels, Dandemutande, Midlands State University and Pote Holdings.

The youngest cyclist at this year's event is 13-year-old Juliet Chasi, a Harare Cycling Club athlete, who is doing form 1 at Great Achievers College in Hopley.

It set off yesterday at Selous and will end in Zvishavane tomorrow.

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