Love him or hate him, Namibia’s leading cyclist Raul Costa Seibeb has put the disappointment of his illegal axing from international participation behind him to clinch the elite men’s full marathon (70 kilometres) at the Klein-Aus Vista MTB Challenge, last weekend.
Irene Steyn was in a class of her own as she cruised to victory in the elite women’s full marathon (70 km) race. The race, which wound its way through the Aus Mountains in southern Namibia, marking the beginning of this year’s KIA MTB series, was spread out over two days.
The event was sponsored by Standard Bank, Kia Namibia, Maerua Superspar and Gondwana Collection and attracted nearly 100 cyclists from across the country.
On the first race day, on Saturday, Seibeb, who has been in scintillating form since the start of the season made his intentions very clear as he came in first after 3:35:22 hours with young Herbert Peters adrift a good distance behind (3:41:25).
On Sunday, Seibeb repeated his near flawless performance, clocking in an almost identical 3:35:11 – leaving him with a combined time of 7:10:33 hours to celebrate another win in 2015. Peters had to settle for a total time of 7:19:57.
In the women’s division, Steyn was capable of an even more impressive victory, as she already led the field (4:19:43) with almost 40 minutes advantage on second-placed Hester Prins (4:59:00) after the opening day.
The following day, Steyn continued where she left off, finishing the grueling 70 km in 4:20:36 giving her an extraordinary total of 7:54:50. Prins held for second overall place (9:57:10).
The sub-veteran men’s class saw Philip Steyn claim honours, with Heino Windisch and Heino Boois having to settle for second and third place, respectively.
Ian Grassow was the top rider in the men’s veteran class with 8:10:40, securing first spot. Hilko Marschall (9:21:44) finished second with Steve Prinslo (9:41:56) tailing in third place. In other action, the juniors also went head-to-head on a track that many considered to be the scenically most spectacular in the entire Namibian race calendar.
Armin Schonmarz won the junior men’s half marathon (2 times 35 km) in 3:50:37, followed by Alexander Miller in second place (4:11:36) with Thoms Miller in third (4:30:25).
Anke Janik was victorious in the junior women’s race – clocking 5:12:31 after the two days, leaving Lara Winterbach (5:35:37) and Desiree Erwig (6:17:17) adrift.