Namibian cyclist Drikus Coetzee won the Nedbank Desert Dash on Saturday.
Namibian cyclist Drikus Coetzee won the Nedbank Desert Dash on Saturday.

Coetzee’s time to shine

Nedbank Desert Dash ends on a high note
Drikus Coetzee claimed victory in the 2022 Nedbank Desert Dash on Saturday, clocking 15:17:08 to finish ahead of former champion Konny Looser (15:38:52) and Rick Steffen (15:45:03), while South African cyclist Yolande de Villiers won the solo women's category in a time of 17:50:09.
Jesse Jackson Kauraisa
Drikus Coetzee said that he holds the utmost respect for his competitors after delivering an astounding Desert Dash victory.

As dawn broke and the sea breeze washed over spectators and supporters waiting for the first person to cross the finish line, Drikus was an unexpected face who reached the podium first in the elite solo category for men.

"I may have finished ahead of the others, but I have the utmost respect for them. They are all terrific cyclists, and their efforts are not unnoticed. It took a lot of hard work and support from my sponsors and family to accomplish this. I am grateful for that," Coetzee said after the race.

The cyclist, who has been in excellent form this year, left his opponents behind as he arrived at Platz am Meer mall in Swakopmund, where a standing ovation welcomed him.

Top spot earned

While Coetzee has won many races, he was hungry for the Desert Dash victory.

"I worked hard to be where I am and will continue doing so. The race went well for me because I prepared well, and that is why I did not feel much pressure."

Coetzee crossed the finish line ahead of multiple-Dash-champion Konny Looser, who had to settle for second position.

After the race, the Swiss cyclist said he had been struggling with the flu a few days before the race. But, he was quick to congratulate Coetzee for having raced and said he achieved a deserving victory.

"It was not easy for me; I struggled through the night, and my preparations were not good at all. There were points in the race where I felt like giving up, but I pushed through," Looser said.

Hard-earned places

Following South Africa’s Yolande de Villiers' win in the solo women’s category, Courtney Liebenberg clocked 19:01:41 to finish second ahead of Belinda van Rhythm (19:19:42).

Many cyclists complained about the strong wind during the race, with some saying it would be their last race, even if it was just after their first Dash participation. For others, as well as some of the regular participants, the feeling was that they would continue doing the Dash for as long as their legs would allow them.

Team wins

The two-man category was won by Megatech Elite’s Marc Pritzen and Alex Miller (15:01:42), who took home N$24 000.

Second place went to SA’s Nico Sterk and Adriaan Myburg (15:20:57) who pocketed N$13 000 prize money, while Murray Craib of South Africa and his partner Jean-Paul Burger won N$9 000 thanks to them crossing the finish line in 15:53:45.

Hollard’s two-person mixed team, consisting of Anri Krugel and Clinton Hilfike, won N$24 000 for taking first place in 16:23:39 in this category, ahead of Food Lover’s Market’s Melissa Hinz and Vernon Maresch (17:16:18), who won N$13 000. In third place, Team Indongo Toyota's Karla Stumpf of South Africa and Namibian Julian Nel went home with N$9 000 for their efforts.


The four-man category was won by Christo Swartz, Carel Pieter van Wyk, Andre Vermeulen and Ingram Cuff riding for Hollard Life, completing the race in 14:50:23 and earning them a cool N$18 000.

Team Cospharm (14:50:24) consisting of Phillip Naude, Massimiliano Abrosi, Theuns van der Westhuizen and Adrian Key collected N$10 000 for their second place, while Jacques van Zyl, Jaco Snyman, Willie Mac van Zyl and Jacques Cilliers ended third. They walked away with N$8 000 for their efforts.

Other winners were the mixed team of Mannie’s Bike Mecca, consisting of Silke Bean, Christian Bean, Brandon Downes and Ada Kahl, who secured N$18 000 for their 16:06:18 podium finish in the four-person mixed category.

Hollard’s Commercial Lines’ Nelius Burger, Hester Prins, Robyn-Lee Swartz and Francois O’Kennedy Nel took second spot and N$10 000, while Team Amalgamated consisting of Wanda Tattersall, Rina Engelbrecht, Jacques Tattersall and Joris Harteveld won N$8 000 for their third spot.


Namibian Sun 2023-03-30

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