2017 Edition of Nedbank Desert Dash launched

23 Oct 2017 12:30pm
WINDHOEK, 23 OCT (NAMPA) - The 13th edition of the Desert Dash cycling competition was launched here on Monday.
It is Namibia's biggest cycling competition and covers 369 kilometres of mainly gravel road between Windhoek and Swakopmund. It must be completed within 24 hours.
This year’s competition takes place on 08 and 09 December, starting at 15h00 on the Friday at the Grove Mall in Kleine Kuppe.
The cut-off time is 15h00 on Saturday at Tiger Reef in Swakopmund.
Speaking at the launch of the Desert Dash, Nedbank Namibia Chief Operational Officer, Richard Meeks said this year they are ready to offer an even greater experience with a number of innovations.
“I am always astounded by the popularity of the Nedbank Desert Dash, particularly if one considers how quickly the available entries are snapped up in the four-person teams. This year, the Desert Dash will have cyclists representing 16 nations competing for top honours,” he said.
He added that the cycling event will bring an estimated N.dollars 20 million into Namibia’s economy.
Meeks said more than 900 cyclists are expected to compete in the event, of which 500 are Namibian.
He said these cyclists coming from abroad will come to Namibia with their families and will use Air Namibia, rent cars, book accommodation and spend money while in the country.
“We at Nedbank Namibia are happy to say that the Desert Dash is adding to the country’s economic growth,” Meeks said.
Individual rider, Konnie Looser from Switzerland, won the solo men's category for two years in a row in 2015 and 2016. Rene Schoeman won the solo women's race last year.
Namibian cyclist Tjipe Murangi and his South African teammate Max Knox also successfully retained the title which they first won as a two-man team in 2015.
The race covers six stages and riders can participate in teams of two or four persons.
Namibian Mannie Heymans, who completed the race in just 12 hours, 13 minutes, holds the current record across all categories.