Craven, Adrian win again
24 February 2020 | Sports
The race saw riders cycling to Elisenheim bridge along the Western Bypass to Sam Nujoma Drive en route to Daan Viljoen and back to Carin Park for the finish line.
The Elite Men cycled 158km, while the Elite Women group completed a 102km course.
Craven beat 2019 African Games mountain bike champion Tristan de Lange in a sprint to the finish with an unofficial time 3:58:13, while national time trial champion Drikus Coetzee came third in 4:04:50.
Speaking to the media after crossing the finish line, Craven who has for the past three years missed out on being crowned champion of the Elite Men’s category, said it feels good to be crowned national champion once more. “It’s been three years since I won it in 2016. I have struggled with injuries while riding for a professional cycling team in Europe. I then decided to find out the real causes of my injuries for the past three years and winning the nationals this year even though I am not in a professional cycling team really feels good.”
He added that the last time he was this strong and felt so good while cycling was in 2015. “It really feels good to still compete in the selection races for a Namibian cyclist who will represent the country at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Leaving my pregnant wife in March last year to go qualify Namibia for the Olympics and now leaving my seven-month daughter at home to come compete in this race, shows how much I have sacrificed and I feel really good to know that all the sacrifices paid off as I’m once again crowned national champion.”
He added that De Lange gave him a good challenge on the day and it was a pleasure cycling alongside him.
In the women’s category that only saw a few elite women riders compete against each other, the defending national champion, Vera Adrian, once again dominated the field to retain her title. Irene Steyn finished second.
Speaking to the media after the race, Adrian called on more women to start cycling so that the sport of cycling can also have more women representatives. “I am happy I won and it’s great to wear the national jersey, especially overseas, but my biggest dream is to have 20 or 30 women at the start line - though I believe that might only happen when I am 80 years old but I still hope I can witness that!” – Nampa