Windhoek, June 2 – – Registration for the 2021 edition of Namibia’s most iconic cycling event, the Nedbank Desert Dash, will open next week, says Gernot de Klerk, Nedbank Namibia’s head of marketing and communications. “2020 has been quite a watershed year for us in terms of hosting a cycling event that attracts over a thousand participants,” said De Klerk, “but it has given us some excellent insights into hosting a mega event within the challenges that the global health pandemic has been presenting since the first quarter of last year.”
Entries for the solo category opens at 10h00 on Monday, 7 June 2020, with the two-person team entries following exactly a week later. The most popular entries, for four-person teams, will open at 10h00 on Monday, 21 June 2021. All registrations can be done online at https://www.today.com.na/2021-desert-dash/
“We are quite optimistic that the increased rate of global vaccinations, coupled with heightened levels of vigilance to guard against the spread of Covid-19, will be hugely beneficial for our quest to host the 2021 edition of the Nedbank Desert Dash,” said De Klerk. He has given the assurance of full refunds of paid-up registration fees in the event that travel restrictions, however unlikely at this stage, may still scupper the plans of international cyclists to race in this year’s edition on Friday, 10 December 2021.
“Our planning for the Nedbank Desert Dash has started in all earnest, having taken to heart many of the lessons of last year, as well as the invaluable insights that we have gleaned from a number of races, albeit at a smaller scale, that we have hosted in 2021 in conjunction with the Namibian Cycling Federation and cycling clubs, and with the ever-watchful guidance of the Namibia Sports Commission,” according to the Nedbank Namibia marketing head.
De Klerk said that the rescheduling of the 2021 Nedbank Cycle Challenge, which was slated for February this year, is quite unlikely, however.
“Our initial intent was to host the races in June to coincide with the pre-scheduled races in the Nedbank/Windhoek Pedal Power Road Race Series and Nedbank/Rock & Rut Cross-Country Series, respectively, but the current health regulations are simply not conducive for a race known for its mass participation appeal. Instead, our focus will now be on, firstly, hosting another worldclass Nedbank Desert Dash in December, and secondly, to plan for February 2022 Nedbank Cycle Challenge”.
The 2020 Nedbank Desert Dash over 373 km from Windhoek to Swakopmund in 24 hours attracted just over 1000 cyclists, with Switzerland’s Konny Looser and local favourite, Irene Steyn, bagging the honours in the solo categories.