Miller, Du Plessis win Nedbank XCO series

Cyclists are ready for Commonwealth Games
Alexander Miller and Monique du Plessis are the winners of the 2022 Nedbank XCO series.
Jeanette Diergaardt
The 2022 Nedbank Namibia XCO competition ended on Saturday, with Alexander Miller, the third-time champion, protecting his top spot in first place.
With a five-lap mountain bike series, Miller finished in a time of one hour and 19 minutes with Xavier Papo in second place with a time of one hour and 23 minutes.
For the elite pro-women, Monique du Plessis finished in the first place, with a time of one hour and 25 minutes. Nicola Fester came in second place, with a finishing time of one hour and 30 minutes.
Cindy Rowland competed alone in the under-23 women’s category.
The pro-elite athletes, under-23 and junior categories for both men and women were counted under the international cycling body (UCI).
Strong start
“Being able to defend the title for the third time in a row feels really good,” Miller said, expressing his pleasure at wearing the Namibian flag proudly in Europe, while training with the elite mountain biking team, Trek Vaude in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.
With a strong start, Miller kept his lead and swiftly completed all five of his laps with Papo picking up the pace in the last half of the race. For Papo, the race was chilled, with a few challenging hills, but racing against Miller was no easy feat.
“Racing against Miller who cycles professionally was not easy,” Papo said.
In the women’s elite category Du Plessis was left without her main competitor Courtney Liebenberg, who was unable to complete the race due to her bicycle’s shifting batteries that had malfunctioned at the start of the race.
“This is the first time it happened,” Liebenberg said regretfully, adding that she had to start running the track to continue the race where she had left off, but she did not make it in time and decided to discontinue.
Although she won, du Plessis said it was an unexpected win.
“It was a really emotional win for me today as I have had a rough few weeks behind me,” she said. “I love racing against Courtney and it was really unfortunate that she couldn’t finish the race."
Both Miller and Papo are preparing to leave today for the Common Wealth Games that start in Birmingham on 28 July. They will be joined by Kevin Lowe and Daniel Hah who walked away with first and second place respectfully at the competition in the junior men’s category. Bergran Jensen won the under-23 category and Simon Kaita came in second place.