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Cyclists to vie for points

2024-04-19  Staff Reporter

Cyclists to vie for points

The Namibia Cycling Federation and Rock & Rut Cycling Club are set to host the 2024 Nedbank XC1 International Cycling Union (UCI) C1 and UCI Junior Series XCO races tomorrow at the IJG Trails in Kleine Kuppe.

This is the second round of the five races in the XC series, and the only one that will see cyclists score UCI points.  

The event is set to attract between 140 and 150 local and international cyclists. Chairperson of Rock & Rut Hanso Diehl said preparations are at an advanced stage.

“We expect a few more locals to come still and do late registration. This event will allow the elite, U/23, and junior racers to score UCI points, which are important to participate in certain international events. 

“The track is also in good shape, with many difficult technical elements to negotiate on the day of racing. Administrative-wise, everything is in order,” he said.

He added that both local and South African commissaries who will be in charge on the day are UCI-certified. Hosting a race to UCI specifications challenges both organisers and racers, which raises the level of mountain biking in Namibia to international standards.

Diehl called on local cycling enthusiasts to come in numbers and cheer the local cyclists as they test their mettle against international competitors from South Africa and Lesotho. 

The track, which includes obstacles like rock gardens, jumps and steep climbs, is bound to provide great entertainment for spectators.

Last year, Namibia’s Alex Miller and SA’s Candice Lill won the elite men’s and women’s races. Fellow countrywoman Tyler Jacobs followed Lill in second place, and Monique du Plessis of Namibia came in third. 

Miller won the race ahead of SA’s Philip Buys and Johan van Zyl in second and third place, respectively.

Local hero Miller is back to defend his position, fresh off a win at the Nedbank XC0, the first race in Rock & Rut’s series, earlier this month. 

Another epic battle to watch out for will be the one between Namibia’s Daniel Hahn and SA’s Massimiliano Ambrosi. 

Ambrosi beat Hahn to second place at last year’s Nedbank XC1 and the 2023 African Championships. The year before, on home turf in Windhoek, Hahn came out on top, and he will be out to repeat the feat. 

Michael Foster, the U/23 men’s African Champion, will be racing as well in a strong field that includes Namibia and SA’s top young talent.

Nedbank’s Communications and Public Relations Manage, Selma Kaulinge said: “What an exciting time to be a cyclist in Namibia. This edition of the respective races will be epic, and we cannot wait to see our Namibian cyclists take on the route with hopes of scoring much-needed UCI points to bolster their world rankings. 

“Sponsoring events like these enable us to nurture homegrown talent by providing platforms for cyclists to compete against their peers,” she said. 

The races will start at 07h30, with the elite, U/23 and junior women cycling at 08h45, and the men’s elite, U/23 and juniors starting at 11h50. The men U/16, sub-veterans, veterans and master’s will start their races at 10h15.

2024-04-19  Staff Reporter

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