Dash through the desert

The 2019 edition of the iconic Nedbank Desert Dash will finish on Saturday at the coast.

06 December 2019 | Sports

This year's edition of the Nedbank Desert Dash will kick off today at the Grove Mall and end tomorrow at the Platz Am Meer shopping mall in Swakopmund.

Known as the longest mountain race in the world, the Desert Dash covers 369 kilometres of gravel road between Windhoek and Swakopmund, which must be completed within 24 hours.

This is the fifth year Nedbank Namibia is sponsoring this unique event.

Familiar faces include Swiss cyclist and four-time Desert Dash winner Konny Looser, who was on Wednesday announced as the face of the Nedbank Namibia Private Wealth team, which will once again compete in the 20th edition of the Nedbank Desert Dash.

Looser, the defending champion, finished the race in a time of 14 hours and 22 minutes last year.

“I now have huge experience of the Desert Dash and despite having a long season I'm well-recovered and looking forward to the Dash,” he said.

Drikus Coetzee, who set the pace from the start and was caught by Looser during the second stage, finished as the runner-up in the men's solo category last year in a time of 14 hours and 56 minutes.

Jacques Tattersall was third in 16 hours and 15 minutes.

Germany's Rebecca Robisch clinched the women's solo title in a time of 17 hours and 17 minutes last year. However, she will not be competing this year, which leaves an opportunity open for a new face to stand atop the podium.

Irene Steyn took second last year in a time of 18 hours and 19 minutes, followed by Ciska van der Byl in third spot in 19 hours.

The first four-person men's team to cross the finish line last year was Gondwana Masters in a time of 14 hours and 22 minutes.

Team Hollard finished in second position, while Megatech Mannies Bike Mecca took third spot.

R&R Importers won the four-person mixed team category last year in a time of 16 hours and 4 minutes, followed by Indongo Toyota and Team Hollard.

The two-man team event was won last year by Team Hollard (14 hours and 59 minutes), followed by NCCS and Cycles4U Elite.

The winning two-person ladies' team was Swakopmund Guesthouse in a time of 19 hours and 2 minutes, followed by Uber Girls and Delush.

Husband and wife team Christiaan and Silke Bean (Beauty and the Bean) won the two-person mixed team event in a time of 18 hours and 13 minutes, followed by Team FNB (Marion Schonecke and Ananias Tamati) and Dalie Maritz and Willie Junius (Pari Passu), who took third.

In the four-person ladies' event, Speedy Sloths took gold in 20 hours and 20 minutes, followed by EpieQ, whose team member Mayvonne Swart (16) from Pro Ed Academy was the youngest rider to complete last year's Dash. Third place went to Ladies in Red.

LIMBA MUPETAMI

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