Namibia’s African U/18 mountain bike champion Tristan de Lange was in a class of his own at the Hollard MTB Festival over the weekend.
The youngster won the men’s race over 75km near Mariental in a splendid time of 2:54:59. Team KIA Elite rider Brandon Plaatjes underlined the quality of the upcoming cyclists when he scooped second place in 3:01:17.
Namibia’s most successful cyclist in recent times Dan Craven completed the podium with a third place finish (3:04:24). Craven, a member of professional outfit Team Europcar of France, is currently on holiday in his native country. Michael Pretorius, another member of Team KIA Elite, came in fourth (3:10:45).
Plaatjes also won the Hollard MTB Series with 480 points, leaving Pretorius in second place with 460 points and De Lange in third with 450 points.
Michelle Vorster was the quickest lady of the day as she finished the gruesome 75km in 3:16:53, while Irene Steyn (3:26:19) and Hester Prins (3:56:28) had to settle for second and third places respectively.
Meanwhile, Hilko Marschall and Heino Windisch had an epic battle in the men’s veteran class. The pair fought until the very end of the 75km.
Eventually, Marschall managed to edge out his rival by the slightest of margins, winning the race in 3:21:05, a blink ahead of Windisch (3:21:06). Philip Steyn came in third (3:37:57).
The veteran women’s division was less tightly contested. Petra Compion rode to victory in 3:57:48. Second place went to Patricia Hoeksema (3:59:52) and third place to Renata Stolze (4:34:51).