All seemed to be lost for Namibia's most iconic race when an announcement that the race would not be hosted in 2015 spread like wildfire amongst the cycling community.
All seemed to be lost for Namibia’s most iconic race when an announcement that the race would not be hosted in 2015 spread like wildfire amongst the cycling community – both in Namibia and abroad. Nedbank Namibia stepped up with an announcement of their own: that they would be the anchor sponsor of the event for the next five years, and with that announcement came a mad dash to ensure that every conceivable arrangement was put in place to ensure a singular experience for riders and spectators alike.
IT will not be wrong to say that there were no losers at this year's Nedbank Desert Dash mountain bike race that ended at Swakopmund, considering that those 575 riders had the grit and stamina to ride what is believed to be the toughest mountain bike race in the world, stretching 369 kilometres from Windhoek to Swakopmund in 24 hours.
The riders started the race in Windhoek at 15h00 on a rainy Friday afternoon in December and had until 15h00 the next to cross the finish line at Swakopmund. It is not known how many, if any, did not make it but what was sure is that most did. Men and women participated in one of three categories: four-person teams, two-person teams and solo.
The overall winners with regards to finishing times were the Namibian and South African two-man team of Tjipe Murangi and Max Knox who completed the marathon in 14 hours 27 minutes 17 seconds.
Another two-man Namibian-South African team of Tristan de Lange and Ben Melt Swanepoel came second overall more than 12 minutes behind in 14:39:22, while Konnie Looser of Switzerland was the first solo rider, coming third overall in 15:03:25.
The Namibian duo of Dan Craven and Costa Seibeb came fourth overall and third in the two-man category in 15:20:20.
In the men's solo category, last year's winner Dion Guy came second in 15:56:58, while Dana Schutte came third in 16:19:33.
The women's solo winner was Rene Schoemann in a time of 19:11:49, with Hester Prinse second in 19:41:27 and Simine Meyer third in 20:11:35.
The other results were as follows:
Mixed two-person team:
1 Vera Adrian and Norbert Meyer (15:38:31)
2 Heiko Redecker and Michelle Vorster (16:07:48)
3 Silke Pritzen and Henco Blaauw (18:25:34)
Two women team:
1 Irene Steyn and Yolande du Toit (16:41:00)
2 Adele de la Rey and Johanita de Waal (17:25:10)
3 Maike Bochert and Anneke Steenkamp ( 17:51:01)
1 Johan Faber, Gerhard Mans, Jean Paul Burger and Pieter Seyfert (15:14:15).
2 Jan Hendrik Verdoes, Marnus Verdoes, Adriaan Maartens, Brandon Plaatjies (16:12:24)
3 Richard Meekes, Steven Paschke, Paul Brinkmann, Peter Brinkmann (16:40:54)
(source: The Namibian)
With Nedbank hosting the iconic Desert Dash for the first time, significant focus was given to ensuring that a strong linkage is made to Nedbank’s involvement with the event. This included a high-profile media launch and a strong partnership with the Namibia Media Holdings stable, while great effort was put into upscaling the social media components of the event. These efforts were designed to build on earlier endeavours to continue building a strong online community, who are fully engaged with the Nedbank brand. Above all, a key feature of the event, and engagements leading up to the event, is the level of appreciation from the broader cycling community for Nedbank having stepped in to save Namibia’s most iconic race.
Please take a moment to give us your suggestions