NCF riders ready for Mpumalanga

08 January 2019 | Sports

The Namibian Cycling Federation (NCF) national team is ready to compete in South Africa's Mpumalanga Tour, slated for 11 to 17 January.

The six-stage race is the biggest road cycling event in South Africa and covers a total distance of 752 kilometres in Mpumalanga Province - from Loskopdam to Badplaas, Mbombela, Graskop and Blyderivier Canyon.

Johannes Hamunyela, Alex Miller, Xavier Papo, Fiffy Kashululu, Jafet Amukushu and team captain Drikus Coetzee will represent Namibia in the six-day road race.

Speaking to Nampa on Friday, team manager Jacob Kiyola said the team is ready to compete against the best teams and riders in that country.

“The Mpumalanga Tour is one of the best road tours in South Africa and as a team representing the NCF, we are happy to compete in this event because we prepared well as all our riders did over

1 000 km of training,” he said.

He said the 2019 cycling season will start with a real test of fitness and strength.

“This is a demanding tour for all teams. The competition will be very high as there are three professional continental teams that will compete in the tour,” said Kiyola.

Manager and support vehicle driver Ebben Ezer Iita agreed that this tour is good preparation for the National Championships that will be held from 1 to 3 February and the African Championships, where the NCF team will have an opportunity to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Team captain Coetzee, who will take part in the tour for the second time along with Kashalulu and Hamunyela, said they would try their best although it is hard to predict the outcome as it is the first race of the year for all the riders.

The team will be accompanied by mechanic Martin Nghilifavali and NCF communication officer Benjamin Haidula.

The Mpumalanga Tour is described as ideal for cyclists to train for the South African Championships and the Cape Epic. The tour starts in the Limpopo Province, moving through the most scenic areas of Mpumalanga and comprises the following stages:

Stage 1 – Blyderivier to Swadini

Stage 2 – Swadini to Mount Sheba

Stage 3 – Mount Sheba to Mbombela Stadium

Stage 4 – White River to Mbombela via Umjindi

Stage 5 – Mbombela Stadium to eManzana

Stage 6 – eManzana to finish at Loskopdam

The Namibian team will leave today and are expected back in the country next Friday.

NAMPA

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