NAMIBIA’s top cyclists will battle it out for national titles when the Nedbank National Road Cycling Championship takes place this weekend.
The national time trial championship takes place this afternoon on the Okahandja road, while the national road race championship takes place on Sunday morning, starting and finishing at Carin Park near Brakwater.
Nedbank Namibia’s spokesperson, Gernot de Klerk, emphasised Nedbank’s commitment to the development of cycling in Namibia:
“Nedbank Namibia continues to be one of biggest supporters of cycling in Namibia, and with the fantastic work done by our sporting authorities and organising volunteers, we have created some exceptional platforms over the years to spur on the development of Namibian cycling. Hosting the national time trials and national road race this weekend, further speaks to the investment the bank continues to put into the sport with the ultimate quest of producing cyclists and events of sheer international quality,” he said.
The competition amongst the elite men should be fierce as several cyclists are capable of winning the national titles.
In last year’s road race Dan Craven beat Tristan de Lange after a thrilling sprint to the line, but Craven won’t be back to defend his title since he is currently in Spain, and in his absence cyclists like De Lange, Drikus Coetzee, Alex Miller and Martin Freyer will all be in with a chance of taking the honours.
Coetzee is in good form, having come second at last weekend’s Windhoek Pedal Power race, finishing behind South African Marc Pritzen, while Miller who missed last weekend’s race due to illness, is fit again and raring to go.
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Ï couldn’t compete last weekend because I was a bit sick, but I’m feeling much better now and am looking forward to the nationals. Drikus is a very strong time trialist so I’ll have my work cut out to win that title, while the road race will be tough with a lot of good riders, but I’m excited and feeling confident,” he said.
Amongst the elite women, the defending champion Vera Adrian will start as the strong favourite. She has dominated the national championships over the past decade winning the road race title eight times over the past nine years and should once again be in a class of her own.
She can, however expect tough competition from Risa Dreyer, who won last weekend’s Dordabis road race, while other riders who could come into the reckoning for podium spots include Gabriella Raith, Anneke Steenkamp and Michelle Doman.
Male and female cyclists will compete in numerous categories ranging from the elite, u23, sub-veteran, veteran, master and grand master categories to the junior age group categories from u10 level up. The distances for the road race will range from 14km for the u10s to 150km for the experienced riders.
“Due to the prevailing Covid-19 regulations governing sporting activities, spectators will not be allowed at either of the events, and cyclists have been implored to adhere to health protocols while taking part in the events,” De Klerk said, and called on motorists to be mindful of increased cycling activity on the B1 highway on Friday afternoon and Sunday morning.