Nedbank geared up for cycling challenge

31 January 2019 | Sports

Cycling enthusiasts will be treated to an energetic cycling competition when the 34th edition of the Nedbank Cycle Challenge kicks off in the capital.

The Nedbank Road Challenge will commence on 10 February in the capital with a large number of top cyclists expected to showcase their riding skills.

The event will be followed by the Nedbank Mountain Bike MTB Challenge, slated for 24 February in Windhoek.

The MTB Challenge last year attracted over 700 participants and the organisers expect the numbers to increase this year.

Nedbank chief financial officer, JG van Graan, spoke highly of the bank's involvement in the sport code.

“Nedbank Namibia has a history steeped in cycling, and as we ended 2018 with the iconic Nedbank Desert Dash, we have started 2019 with the Nedbank Pedal Power race series.

“All of these serve as a preamble to the Nedbank Cycle Challenge, our country's best-supported cycling event, which consistently draws the biggest number of participants of all races hosted in Namibia,” Van Graan said.

It is for this reason that the bank feels it has played a major role in the improvement and development of the sport in the country.

“From our vantage point, the quality of Namibian cycling in all facets is being recognised, from both a continental and global perspective.

“It is evidenced by virtue of the UCI-sanctioned races that our country has been hosting, culminating in the African Continental Mountain Bike Championships that will be hosted in Namibia,” Van Graan said.

The cycle challenge comprises of three events, which include the road challenge that will start at the Nedbank branch in Independence Avenue.

Entries for the 20 km, 30 km, 60 km and the elite 100 km distances are open and interested cyclists have been advised to register at www.today.com.na or submit their entries at Nedbank branches countrywide.

The Kidz Challenge will take place at the Waldorf School in Avis on 23 February, while the MTB Challenge also takes place at the same school the following day.

The MTB Challenge will consist of 10 km, 20 km and 70 km distances and three water points will be in place.

The events are supported by the Namibia Cycling Federation, Windhoek Pedal Power, Rock and Rut Mountain Bike Club, Coca-Cola, Namibia Health Plan, the PayToday Group and Events Unlimited.

“Organising and hosting the 'greatest ride under the sun' would be near impossible if it were not for the support that we receive from our partners.

“We will always remain indebted to the City of Windhoek for being such a wonderful and generous host of the challenge and the City Police for supporting us in great numbers to ensure the safety of our cyclists,” Van Graan said.

Last year, Dan Craven was crowned the champion of the 2018 Nedbank Cycle Challenge after winning the 100-kilometre race in a time of two hours, 16 minutes and two seconds (2:16.02).

Craven was followed home by Drikus Coetzee, while Lotto Petrus came in third.

Vera Adrian won the women's section. She beat defending champion Michelle Voster to sprint home in a time of 02:43:07, while Michelle Doman finished third.

Jesse Jackson Kauraisa