Otjiahavera mountain biking race promises fireworks

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Mountainious task awaits bikers… Rock and Rut is the oldest mountain bike club in Namibia and celebrates its 25th anniversary this year with a membership base of close to 300 signed-up members.

Staff Reporter

WINDHOEK – The Rock and Rut Mountain Bike club launched this year’s FNB Otjihavera Experience, presented by Land Rover and Windhoek Light, to be staged on the 10th of next month at Midgard Country Estate, north-east of Windhoek.
Cyclist Xavier Papo is a regular participant and finished second in last year’s Elite category and and hopes to go one better this time around.

“It’s a great race and I have done it a few years, finishing second twice. I really enjoyed last year as it was different and much tougher.

“This race teaches you to push yourself, especially on the first day; which can be very grueling and I want to encourage all riders of this year’s race to come prepared and wish them success. It really is an awesome race.”
Gordon Pokolo, sponsorship manager at FNB Namibia, wished all riders the best of luck and commented that mountain biking is much like life, with numerous ups and downs.

“Going downhill is easy and fast and fun. But it’s only the exhausting uphill grind that makes the descent so gratifying. And just like Otjihavera, life pushes our boundaries where taking risks is essential to our growth and vitality.”

Pokolo added that team camaraderie and spirit is one of the many reasons why the sport is so loved. “It is the spirit of partnership, even among the sponsors, that makes First National Bank a proud backer of this great initiative. The race has grown from 40 participants in its maiden year 2006 to 105 teams of two last year.”
“Over 90 teams have already entered this year, promising some exciting racing across rugged mountain ranges,” says Ekkehard Friedrich of the Rock and Rut Mountain Bike club.

New and exciting changes to this year’s race include:

– Prologue: there will be a non-compulsory Prologue event on Friday evening, August 10, consisting of a timed time trial around the Midgard Country Lodge area and Game Park.
– Land Rover Hill-timed competition for the steepest climb on the route Windhoek Light Tented Race Village, a tented village on the Midgard premises for rider accommodation.
– Kids entertainment area – in addition to the beer tent there will be special kids entertainment.

RACE FORMAT

It is all about teamwork. The FNB Otjihavera Experience is a 2-day MTB Marathon where you need to participate in a team of two riders.
Newly introduced in 2018 is the timed non‐compulsory Prologue to be hosted on Friday evening. This will be an easy short loop through the Midgard Country Estate property and Game Park.
Day 2 and 3 will be similar to last year consisting of mostly farm roads and jeep tracks with short single-track sections.

Schedule:
Day 1 (Friday, 10 August 2018) – Prologue ±10km loop through the Midgard Country Estate and Game Park. Start – 17:00.
Day 2 (Saturday, 11 August 2018) Start – 08:00 at Midgard Country Estate ± 70km.
Day 3 (Sunday, 12 August 2018) Start – 08:00 at Midgard Country Estate ±68km Prize giving and lucky draws – 13:00.
R&R is promoting mountain biking in Namibia by aiming to establish good social atmosphere between cycling communities of all demographics, age and skill levels.

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