Top cyclists compete for top titlesThe Nedbank Namibian National Road and Time Trial and Cycling Championship takes place in Windhoek this weekend, featuring elite athletes competing for national titles in the time trial and road race categories.
The event takes place on Friday (27 January) and Sunday (29 January) respectively.
Race director Volker Engling said that they are honoured to be hosting this year's championships again and look forward to presenting a new route that will challenge elite cyclists and attract more spectators.
According to Nedbank Namibia Communications and PR manager, Selma Kaulinge, the bank is dedicated to supporting cycling in the country. “We are eager to witness our nation's top cyclists contending for national titles at this annual event.”
The event, organised in partnership with the Namibian Cycling Federation, is an important step toward international and regional competitions, as it qualifies Namibian athletes to compete at the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) World Championships and the African Continental Championships.
“The UCI World Championship is one of the most prestigious events in the cycling world, drawing competitors from all over the globe to compete in various disciplines,” Engling said.
The Namibian nationals include categories for elite and u/23 men to complete a distance of 40km, and elite and u/23 women, cycling 30km. Additional categories, namely junior men and women, sub vet men and women, vet men and women, master men and women, grand master men and women, u/16 boys and girls, u/14 boys and others, cycle a total distance of 20km.
The youngest categories – u/14 girls, u/12 boys, u/12 girls, u/10 boys and u/10 girls, will cycle a distance of 10km.
“Cycling has grown as a sport in Namibia in recent years, with more people taking up the discipline at all levels,” Kaulinge said. “This is partly due to the success of Namibian cyclists on the international stage, which has inspired more people to get involved in the sport. Nedbank Namibia has been investing in the development of cycling in the country over the past three decades. With continued investment and support, we can expect to see more Namibian cyclists competing at the highest level and achieving notable results in the future.”
To date, a total of four Namibian cyclists have competed at the UCI World Championships, participating in the road race and time trial disciplines: Dan Craven, who competed in the road race in 2011 and 2013, and in the time trial in 2014, 2015, and 2017; Adriaan Louw, who contended in the road race in 2015; Rohan du Plooy, who competed in the road race in 2016 and 2017, and in the time trial in 2017; and Johann Rabie, who competed in the time trial in 2018 and 2019.
The Namibia Cycling Federation urges motorists to exercise patience and consideration during the race. Together with Nedbank Namibia, they extend their gratitude to the Windhoek City Police for their continued and unwavering support in ensuring the safety of participating cyclists and other road users.
“It's worth mentioning that the country is now receiving lovely rainfalls, but if we have heavy rain on the day of the Time Trial, the route may have to be changed,” Engling concluded.
The prizegiving for both the National Time Trials and the Road Race take place on Sunday at 14:00 at the Nedbank Campus.