Namibian cyclists find going tough at Continental Championships

18 Feb 2018 17:30pm
WINDHOEK, 18 FEB (NAMPA) - The Namibian Cycling Federation (NCF)'s elite national male team found the going tough on Sunday in their last race at the African Continental Cycling Championships in Kigali, Rwanda.
The elite male team made up of Martin Freyer, Xavier Papo, Dan Craven, Lotto Petrus, Fifi Kashululu failed to finish the 156 kilometre (km) circuit.
Drikus Coetzee was the only Namibian who managed to finish the race out of the more than 100 riders who started on Sunday morning. Only 30 riders in total finished the 156km route.
Coetzee finished the race in 30th position.
The winner, Amanuel Gebreigzabhier of Eritrea, finished the race in three hours, 56 minutes and 29 seconds (3:56:29).
On Saturday in the elite Under-23 women’s road race, 2016 African Women Time Trial and Road Race Champion, Vera Adrian finished in seventh place, 13 seconds behind the winner Bosrat Ghebremeskel of Eritrea.
Ghebremeskel completed the 84km route in a time of 2:46:31.
In the junior male road race event which also took place on Saturday, Alex Miller finished fifth, 3'49 seconds behind Biniam Hailu of Eritrea who won the 72km race in a time of 1:56:43.
With regards to the other junior riders, Schalk van der Merwe finished the race 14th and Charl du Plooy was 20th, while Dieter Koen finished the race in 25th position.
The African Continental Road Championships are a series of cycling races held annually since 2005, with the best riders on the continent selected for the competition.
This year's competition started on Tuesday and ended on Sunday.
Speaking to Nampa on Sunday, Craven said the circuit used for the road race was very hard and a lot of cyclists struggled to complete the race.
“I had a bad day and dropped out of the race. I'm not even sure how many people completed the race, but this was a good lesson and exposure for our riders as we prepare for future competitions,” he said.
Team Namibia was represented by 11 athletes, with Adrian being the only female athlete in the squad.