Fierce competition is expected from the country’s leading cyclists this weekend when they take part in the prestigious National Road Cycling Championships, slated for tomorrow and Sunday in the capital. The championships will see Namibia’s top cyclists vying for the coveted prize of national champion.
According to Mannie Heymans, president of the Namibian Cycling Federation (NCF), the federation is most appreciative of the support from Pupkewitz Megabuild for offering to become the main sponsor for this year’s event.
“It’s a good investment, and shows confidence in the sport of cycling.” The sponsorship will cover the national road race, individual time trials and back-up vehicles (sponsored by Pupkewitz Motors).
Jeanne Lowe, general manager of commercial and marketing of Pupkewitz Megabuild, says: “Megabuild sponsors cycling because we believe it is a family event as it keeps the body healthy and a healthy body is home to a healthy mind.”
The event is more important this year as it has recently been confirmed that one spot is available for a male local cyclist to participate at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro later this year.
The cream of the crop of local cyclists led by the legendary Dan Craven, last year’s winner Costa Seibeb, Till Drobisch and others are expected to compete fiercely for the Olympic spot. The championships form part of the selection criteria for the global showpiece.
The ladies will also use this race as a means for their final preparatory events before departing for the African Road Cycling championships in Morocco later this month. They will compete against the continent’s finest cyclists for an Olympic spot. With South Africa already having qualified for the Olympics, the first country besides South Africa across the line in the road race will obtain one ticket to Rio.
In the spirit of celebrating, this year also witnesses the 30th anniversary of the NCF, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of Pupkewitz Megabuild.
The NCF has since its inception managed to grow the sport considerably across Namibia while part of its 5-year plan includes introducing the sport, especially BMX, to the youth.
The individual time trials take place on Friday afternoon at 16h00 on the Otjihase Mine Road, while the grueling 126km road race for the Elite Men starts at 06h30 on Sunday morning at the Pupkewitz Lifestyle Centre in Kleine Kuppe.