By; Mupiri Matthias
Windhoek, June 19 – Kevin Lowe, a mountain biker under 23, and Nicole Fester, a professional cyclist, took first place in the men’s and women’s 2023 Nedbank Rock and Rut XC3 Mountain Bike championships on Sunday at the IJG Trails in Farm Windhoek.
Daniel Hahn came in second with a time of 1 hour, 5 minutes, and 52 seconds, and Adrian Key came in third with a time of 1 hour, 8 minutes, and 2 seconds. Lowe defeated a formidable group of competitors in this time.
Xavier Papo won the elite men’s competition with a time of 1 hour, 13 minutes, and 30 seconds. Simon Kaita, who experienced numerous mechanical issues and a puncture during the race, finished in second place with a time of 1 hour, 14 minutes, and 45 seconds, and FC Smith took third place with a time of 1 hour, 17 minutes.
The top three men in the sub-veteran category were Petrus Human, Ananias Tamati, and Micheal Falk.
Vernon Maresch won the veteran men’s race, finishing ahead of Philip Steyn and Louis Prins.
In the Master Men competition, Hans du Toit triumphed against Nick du Plessis and Ian Grassow.
Fester finished first in the elite women’s race in a timing of 1 hour, 7 minutes, and 3 seconds, beating Madison Mahn, who finished in 1 hour, 12 minutes, and 26 seconds.
Luanne van der Schyff, who is from Walvis Bay, finished third in 1h15m49s. Hester Prins defeated Benita Windsch to take first place in the sub vet women’s division. Irene Steyn defeated Marion Schonecke to win the title of Veteran Women.
After the competition, Lowe expressed his satisfaction with the event. “The race wasn’t your normal cross-country one; there weren’t many challenging obstacles. It was kind of a marathon with only one challenging climb, but I enjoyed it, he added.
During the fourth lap, Lowe however, suffered a front wheel puncture, but he was still able to ride his bike around the track to the service station and swap out for a new one. That did not stop him from giving it his all in the final two laps to win for the second year in a row.
With a little wind, but fortunately mostly on the back most of the time, the weather was favorable for riding. At the technically challenging descent, I didn’t see it, he continued.
Fester stated the race was enjoyable because the weather cooperated. It was a good track, interesting, challenging, and a lot of fun. I’m anticipating the following race on July 8 at the same location. The competition among the women is always fierce, according to Fester.
The race this year was held on a brand-new track, which caused some difficulty for the cyclists as they tried to adapt to the terrain. This made the race exciting for both competitors and spectators.
Selma Kaulinge, the manager of communication and PR for Nedbank Namibia, commended the organizers and bikers for a flawless job well done.
“The bikers must have found it fascinating to have this new racecourse. In the long term, different racecourses will help the cyclists because they would encounter uneven and foreign terrain when competing on international stages. It is impressive to witness the efforts made by our organizers to get both our elite and novice riders ready for the competitions they will compete in while representing Namibia abroad. Nedbank Namibia is pleased to support this world-class mountain bike series as part of its involvement with the growth of cycling in Namibia, the spokesperson stated.
On Saturday, July 8, the Nedbank XC Race Series’ last race will take place. ~Namibia Daily News