OKAHANDJA - Year two of the MTB Dirt Attack Ride/Run hit like a storm as 170 riders lined up to take on one of the most beautiful, yet challenging routes of the year.
This beautiful stretch of the Gravel & Dirt MTB Marathon Series powered by Hollard, is located roughly 10 km out on the Gross Barmen road just outside of the garden town of Okahandja, with sandy flat stretches and rocky climbs, this is an all-encompassing track laid out to deliver on the thrill of MTB cycling.
The route this year was different to the last, with Tony Bassingthwaighte painstakingly mapping and marking which to many who attended, is set to become one of the highlights of the yearly calendar, as it truly does deliver all the elements that our Namibian MTB riders would wish to take on.
And even better was that this year’s event once again offered both a 10 km and a 21 km trail run for our local endurance runners.
With beautiful clear skies above, the riders lined up at the starting point for the pre-race briefing, and when this was done, the countdown started.
First off the line was Drikus Coetzee, who throughout the Hollard Gravel & Dirt Series proved time and time again that he was a cycling force to be reckoned with, but with the likes of Xavier Papo and Denzel de Koe right behind him, this was by no means going to be a runaway victory.
Hill climbs and narrow single track sections were not the only obstacles the riders faced as they navigated their way through this amazing route, the track also included a number of dry river crossings and sandy sections, which are not only difficult to navigate, but also place enormous physical strain on riders as they hit the later stages of the course.
A special shout-out has to go to Ingram Cuff riding Sub Veteran Men, who took on the 70 km distance and not only dominated, but also set the best time of the day overall with 2:55:13.
He was followed by Drikus Coetzee (2:55:14) crossing the line in first place in the Elite category. Danzel De Koe (2:56:43) took second place ahead of Xavier Papo (3:01:03) in third.
There was only one female Elite rider on the day, Michelle Doman, who crossed the line with a time of 3:35:56. Close on her heals were the Sub Veteran Women, who also rode at a staggering pace, with Courtney Liebenberg (3:36:40) taking first place ahead of Marion Schonecke (3:46:28) in second, and Rosi Hennes (3:47:48) in third.
A massive shout out goes to our sponsors, whose support throughout the year has made all of this possible, Hollard, Food Lovers Market, E-Med Rescue 24, Crank’d, NBL, Cymot and Ernst Lerch & Co.
It is with support such as this that our MTB events are not only able to happen, but that the quality of these events are on par with international standards, assisting in the development of new riders as they climb the ranks.