Mountain biking becomes popular locally

16 Feb 2016 13:30pm
WINDHOEK, 16 FEB (NAMPA) – Mountain biking is becoming the preferred sport for many in the country, said Nedbank Head of Marketing and Communication Gernot de Klerk at the Nedbank Namibian Mountain Bike Championships in the capital last Sunday.
Nedbank started the mountain bike race about five years ago as an addition to its traditional road race challenge.
“There is increased interest in this sport. People these days prefer mountain biking over road race cycling,” he said, adding that people feel unsafe to race on the road because of increased traffic and mountain biking is more adventurous.
De Klerk told Nampa that participation has increased by 29 per cent from 420 cyclists last year to 540 participants this year.
The 2016 Nedbank Namibian Mountain Bike Championships event took place in the Avis area east of Windhoek, with cyclists racing through mountainous terrain in different categories.
The 70 kilometre (km) race was the main event of the day, with 30km and 15km races also on offer.
Till Drobisch won the men's race over 70km, beating defending champion Costa Seibeb who had a mechanical problem with his bike. Xavier Papo came third.
Michelle Vorster successfully defended her number one spot in the women’s category, followed by Vera Adrian and Hester Prins in second and third places, respectively.
Drobisch told this agency that the race was good but tough as he had only two days of preparation on the course.
“I am really happy to win this race; mountain bike requires strength and techniques and I am not so good technically. I feel happy with my performance this weekend,” he said.
Seibeb told this reporter that his bike's broken chain caused him the race.
“I am disappointed by not winning the race but I am pleased with my performance. Second place is not that bad,” he said.
Vorster said the competition was tough, “It was not easy riding through hills but I managed to come out top. I am very happy to defend my title”.
The Nedbank Cycle Challenge will continue on Saturday in the capital with the road race. Many of the riders last Sunday are anticipated to take part again on Saturday.