Fairy-tale ending for Looser and Adrian

The gruelling Nedbank Desert Dash ended with Konny Looser and his fiancée, Vera Adrian, winning the men’s and women’s solo races.

09 December 2019 | Sports

LIMBA MUPETAMI AND ADOLF KAURE



More than a thousand cyclists took part in the 15th edition of the Nedbank Desert Dash which concluded over the weekend at the Platz Am Meer mall in Swakopmund.

The Nedbank Desert Dash included categories like the solo men’s and women’s races and mixed two-member and four-member teams as cyclists took on the gruelling six stages over 373 km across the world’s oldest desert, the Namib.

Swiss national Konny Looser (29) and his Namibian fiancée, Vera Adrian (26), won the men and women’s solo races which started at the Grove Mall in Windhoek.

Five-time winner Looser, from the Nedbank team, finished his race in a time of 14:42:02, ahead of South African Dusty Day of Barzani Pro-Cycling, who finished in a time of 14:52:52, and compatriot Nichol Jordaan (15:53:06), who finished third.

“I’m happy that it worked out again. It’s never for sure that you will win. Over such a long distance, anything can happen. I rode a really good race tactically and I also did not experience any mechanical problems and no crash.

“In Europe, I like to climb a lot. That’s my strength. I always go harder on the climb just to make the other riders tired. I chose to ride a tactical race and it paid off. The time does not matter to me, what is important is winning. I’m happy,” said Looser after completing his race.

In her first solo, Adrian, of Adrian and Meyer Jewellery, crossed the finish line in a time of 17:10:50, ahead of second-placed Risa Dreyer (18:14:48) and Irene Steyn of MBM Solo (18:46:11).

“It’s incredible. I was so amazed today at how the body and the mind functions. It’s such a long race and you go through so many stages. If you just run with it in your mind, your body just goes with it.

“It was probably not as tough as it could have been but the rains in the interior were lovely. It wasn’t bad at all.

“I was on my own for most of the race. It’s a tough race. I was even scared that I started too fast but luckily I had the legs to finish,” said Adrian.

According to the event organiser, Mannie Heymans, this year’s edition attracted more riders.

“This year we had the record number of entrants as well as a record number of solo entrants,” said Heymans.

The rest of the results of the event were as follows:

Mixed two-member teams

Dikus Coetzee and Michelle Voster (Davin Trust Powered by Hollard) 14:25:19

Martin Freyer and Saska van der Merwe (Team Hollard Mixed) 16:01:13

Mari Rabi and Corri Müller 16:40:51

Two-man teams

Kai and Marc Pritzen (Team Kia Elite) 14:34:33

Clinton Hilfiker and Des Doman (Indongo Toyota) 15:20:56

Tyron Kotze and Fana Lambert (Bud Power) 15:24:21

Two-woman teams

Catherine Pellow-Jarman and Christiana Beulker (Uis Guesthouse) 17:46:13

Genevieve Wber and Lauren Pritzen (Marathon Sugar Ladies) 19:46:56

Ashlee van Tonder and Comine Bruwer (Hoisting Solutions Btswana) 20:25:36

Four-man teams

Hugo Hahn, Alex Miller, Tristan de Lange and Morne Nell (Megatech Mannie’s Manne) 13:47:40 (New course record)

Andre Vermeulen, Gerard Mans Jr, Christo Swartz and Ingram Cuff (Hollard MyLife) 14:15:00

Rob Sim, Udo Blotz, Nico Pfitzenmaier and Piet Swiegers (Gondwana Masters) 14:31:22

Four-woman teams

Michelle Döman, Benita Kasch, Hanli Cilliers and Jolynde Human (Food Lovers Market) 17:14:15

Thiesa Janse van Rensburg, Carmen Johannes, Nicola Fester, Heide Hoböhm (Sober Sloths) 18:44:15

Marlene Jacobs, Jean-Marie Breedt, Melva Steenkamp, Estelle Lambert (WOW-Women on Wheels) 19:08:58

Four-person mixed teams

Greg Chase, Bergran Jensen (16), Mariska Strauss, Yolandi de Villiers (MBM Mixed Bag Motion) 15:29:12

Jaco Lamprecht, Robyn-Lee Swartz, Eneill Buitendag, Lelani Swart (Hollard Mixed) 16:52:01

Terence Smit, Freddy van Zyl, Antja Liebenberg, Mandy Huysamen (Bakpro No Loafing) 18:10:51

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