Annual Nedbank Cycle Challenge launched

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Otniel Hembapu

Windhoek-The 32nd edition of the country’s biggest cycling competition – the annual Nedbank Cycle Challenge – was officially launched yesterday, with the mega event starting with the Kidz Challenge at Avis Dam on February 11.

After the Kidz Challenge, action will then move to the Mountain Bike Challenge on February 12 also at Avis Dam before the main event – the Nedbank Road Challenge – takes centre stage on February 26 in the capital.

Some of the exciting innovations for this year include the opening of the bike park at Avis Dam, where all ages will receive cycling lessons in a safe environment. The bike park, which is under construction, will host this year’s Kidz Challenge.

Speaking at the launch, the head of marketing and communications at Nedbank Namibia, Gernot de Klerk, noted that the event will include new challenges for the cyclists.

“When an event has been held for over 30 years the challenge is always to find ways of generating interest so as to avoid having the event becoming stale,” he said.

He added that innovation at times is a result of external forces, in this case road works on the B1 road north of Windhoek.

It is also affected by the cyclists themselves who offer suggestions on how to make the route more challenging and exciting.

Speaking at the same event, Leander Borg of Windhoek Pedal Power, one of the organisers, said the completion of the B1 road means that the route reverts back to the old format.

“We call upon the public to be vigilant on the day to ensure the safety of the cyclists, while at the same asking them to come out in numbers to support them,” he said.

Registration is open until the day before the races. This year the distances for the challenges will be 20km, 30km, 60km and 100km, which will be supervised under the strict rules and regulations of the International Cycling Union, the world body that regulates the sport.

Defending champion Till Drobisch and other regular participants, Lotto Petrus and Costa Seibeb, are likely to fight it out for top honours. Underdogs cannot be ruled out in the 100km marathon, where young and upcoming cyclists have a chance to claim the top prize.
– Additional info: Nampa

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