WINDHOEK – Last Saturday at Farm Ongeama, a total of 180 Namibian MTB riders lined up for another exciting edition of the Gravel and Dirt challenge of the popular MTB Dirt Attack.
The MTB Dirt Attack is more than just a day of casual mountain biking, it’s a 40km and 70km marathon of climbs, sand, single and jeep track, designed to test more than just the determination and skill of each rider.
For the seasoned veterans who have completed this course, the realisation of the mental and physical challenge that they are faced with becomes very real, very fast, as they once again they fight muscle fatigue battling the soft red sands and dense bush.
As if that was not enough, the epic climbs by far overshadow the amazing views as they summit some of the hills this route has to offer. As the day progressed, many fell victim to mechanical issues, forcing the likes of Gerhard Mans Jnr, a sure contender for the podium to DNF.
The riders who went the full distance, earned every single kilometer, dominating terrain that seemingly plotted against them around every turn.
Pushing hard Drikus Coetzee reached the finish line with a sub three hour time of 2:53:36 taking the number one Elite Men’s spot, a full 14 minutes ahead of his nearest rival Danzel de Koe in second place with a time of 3:07:36. Tuhafeni Hamndjebo earned his first podium position coming in third with a time of 3:26:29. As for the 70km Elite Women’s category, Michelle Doman made it two in a row, dominating the pack with a time of 3:27:05. She was followed by Marion Schonechke in second with a time 3:37:23 and Lelani Swart in third with 4:01:21.
The MTB Dirt Attack was made possible by its main sponsor Hollard, along with Cymot, E-Med 24, Food Lovers Market, Windhoek Light, and Candor Namibia. With the MTB Dirt Attack done and dusted, the organisers now look to the Skyride taking place at Heja Lodge this coming Saturday. The Skyride is a legend in its own accord and will be second last race on the calendar until the Gobabis final deciding race of the series.
Will Xavier Papo and Marion Schonecke hold on to their number one positions, or will the likes of Drikus Coetzee and Michelle Doman challenge that statistic. With two races to go, and riders ready for anything the races have to throw at them, fans eagerly await to see what surprises the next couple of weeks have to offer.