WINDHOEK – With the boom in interest among upcoming local cyclists and international riders, the Tour de Windhoek does not only stand as the pride of Namibian cycling, it also proudly serves as a perfect platform for local riders to enter and experience the thrill of professional cycling at its very best.
The eagerly awaited second edition of the revamped Tour de Windhoek was launched in the capital yesterday to give local and international riders the thrill and excitement of one of Namibia’s biggest cycling events when the three-day Tour de Windhoek gets underway from September 21-23.
The race, separated into five stages, will this year again see riders covering 400km over the three days with distances varying from 107km for Dordabis to 23km in the Time Trials.
The five stages will see local and international cyclists go toe-to-toe covering the various phases including Dordabis, the Team Trial, Hollard Bypass, Pupkewitz MegaBuild Criterium and the Tony Rust Race Track.
The Tour de Windhoek, which was relaunched last year following a self-imposed eight-year absence, will also see the best riders in the various categories walking away with great prizes, which include event jerseys for the King of the Mountain, best sprinter, best young rider and the winning team as well as the acclaimed Yellow Jersey, which is awarded to the rider atop the general classification having completed all stages in the shortest time. A handsome N$161,000 has been set aside and will be shared among the various winners.
In its return last year, South African riders dominated the tour, as Steven van Heerden of Team BCX won the general classification, while his team BCX won the team classification.
Van Heerden completed the five-stage race in a total time of seven hours, 44 minutes and 28 seconds (7:44:28) to finish 49 seconds ahead of team-mate Calvin Beneke (7:45:17), while Jayde Julies of Team Pro Touch came third (7:45:55).
Speaking at the launch, Mannie Heymans from Lema Events, the organisers of the race said this year they have introduced new categories to encourage Namibian riders.
“We have introduced the Tour de Light alongside the event where woman teams as well as those community members who want to compete in the tour can race. “We have also introduced a category for the best Namibian rider who will walk away with prize monies of N$5,000 as well as a jersey after the event,” he said. – Additional info: Nampa