WINDHOEK, JAN 25 – The recently hosted Nedbank Windhoek Pedal Power Race 1 (Döbra Loops) has effectively marked the beginning of the 2022 cycling season, in which an increase in activity compared to the past two years is anticipated. Race 1 took place on Sunday, 23 January with veteran Namibian cyclist Xavier Papo claiming top spot in the men’s category with a time of 02:22:49. Alex Miller and Drikus Coetzee completed the podium finishes with second and third respectively.
Melissa Hinz took first place in the women’s category, clocking in at 02:00:46, followed by Courtney Liebenberg in second, and Monique Du Plessis coming in third.
The Döbra Loops race will be followed by the Nedbank Windhoek Pedal Power 2 (Dordabis) on Sunday, 30 January.
Nancy Brandt, a Windhoek Pedal Power committee member, explained that Windhoek Pedal Power is a road cycling club for all local cyclists in Windhoek and any cyclists are free to join the club, provided that they meet the annual membership fees of N$500 for adults, N$300 for juniors, or a family membership of N$1000 for four members.
“Alternately, you can also pay N$180 per race if you do not want to become a member. There are different distances for all categories and participants enter according to their own capabilities,” she explained.
Cycling, like other sporting codes, has been greatly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic leading to many sporting events being canceled, though the current relaxation in Covid-19 prevention measures will help the staging of more cycling events this year, accommodating more riders and spectators at a time.
In total, the Windhoek Pedal Power is expected to host six races this year: the WPP1 (Döbra Loops) scheduled for 23 January, the WPP2 (Dordabis) scheduled for 30 January, the WPP3 (Matchless), scheduled for 27 February, the WPP4 (Teufelsschlucht) scheduled for 31 July, the WPP5 Team Time Trial at Carin Park scheduled for 14 August and the WPP6 (venue and date to be announced later in the year).
“We have 15 registered teams, 9 men’s teams and 6 women’s teams. To date we have 160 participants,” said Brandt.
Brandt said the prize money is only given at the end of the series.
“There is usually an annual formal prizegiving ceremony at the end of the series. There are cash prizes for all categories.”
Nedbank Namibia has been a supporter of cycling for over 30 years, beginning with the inaugural Nedbank Cycle Challenge in November 1986. Cycling as a sport has grown in Namibia as a result of the sponsorship.
Nedbank Namibia Communications and PR Manager, Selma Kaulinge said that over the past three decades cycling has grown in popularity, with the number of cyclists and supporters growing tremendously, thus making it one of the most popular sports in Namibia.
“Our sponsorship has certainly been one of the major catalysts in the growth of cycling in Namibia. The tournaments we sponsor have seen the rise of many local cyclists, many of whom are now competing at international events, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” shared Kaulinge.
Cycling enthusiast should be on the lookout during the next coming weeks, as Nedbank Namibia will hosts a number cycling events under the theme “The Nedbank Festival of Cycling,” which will include the next Nedbank Windhoek Pedal Power Dordabis race, on Sunday, 20 January; The Nedbank National Time Trail Championships on Friday, 4 February; The Nedbank National Road Race Championships on Sunday, 6 February; as well as the family favourite, Nedbank Cycle Challenge which will be held on Sunday, 13 February. – email@example.com