Bassingthwaighte wins national championships
MARC Bassingthwaighte was a comfortable winner of the Elite Men’s category of the Namibia National Mountain Bike Championships which took place in Windhoek yesterday.
Bassingthwaighte completed the 36km course in a time of 1 hour 46 minutes 30 seconds, to finish nearly five minutes ahead of second-placed Mannie Heymans.
Heymans, who turned 41 on Saturday, came second in 1:51:15, and was involved in a titanic battle with Heinrich Kohne, who came third in 1:51:22.
Bassingthwaighte took the lead from the start and by the end of the first 6km lap had already built up a 30 second lead on Heinrich Köhne, followed by Jacques Celliers and Mannie Heymans.
Bassingthwaighte steadily pulled away from the rest of the field, but the fight for second position was hotly contested as Heymans overtook Celliers to close in on Köhne. By the end of the second lap he was 30 seconds behind Köhne but gradually closed the gap and overtook Köhne on the fifth lap to go second.
Köhne kept the pressure on Heymans and stayed on his wheel, but Heymans used his experience to good effect and managed to cross the line seven seconds ahead of Köhne.
Bassingthwaighte said it was a tough race but he was satisfied with his performance.
“It was very tough today. I had some very good competition from Mannie Heymans and Heinrich Köhne as well as some Under-23 riders. It was very dry today, it seemed like the humidity was not above 20 per cent and with the cold front it made for some very tough racing,” he said.
“I kept on pushing because I need to prepare for the Olympics and check my form so I pushed hard throughout the race. It definitely was not easy but I pulled through and I’m happy with the result. With this form I can go to London in a positive frame of mind,” he added.
Vera Adrian won the Elite Women’s category comfortably, finishing nearly nine minutes ahead of Irene Steyn. Adrian completed the 24km course in 1:32:43, while Steyn came second in 1:41:29 and Carmen Bassingthwaighte third in 1:41:30.
In the end the expected showdown between last year’s champion Heletje van Staen and Adrian did not materialise as Van Staden did not show up for the race.
Adrian said she had a great ride despite some technical problems on the course.
“The race was awesome. My competitors fell out by the third lap and then I just continued on my own. My cleat broke on the third lap so I could not pedal as hard as I would have liked. I also had to borrow a bike from Mannie Heymans a week before the race because my bike frame cracked, but Mannie’s bike felt great and it was flying most of the way,” she said.
Heiko Redecker comfortably won the Men’s Under-23 category completing the 30km course in 1:35:28, to finish nearly seven minutes ahead of Costa Seibeb. Seibeb, riding in his first season on the mountain bike circuit did well to finish second in 1:42:25, while Joze Barth came third in 1:48:50.
The results of the other categories were inn the following order: Junior Men - Michael Pretorius 1:25:12, Charl Fourie 1:27:54, Jernell Barth 1:38:40,; Veteran Men - Victor Swiegers 1:25:58
Adrian de la Harpe 1:27:19, Carl Hahn 1:30:49; Masters Men - Paddy Murphy 1:08:16, Herklaas Viljoen 1:13:33, Rolf Adrian 1:13:59; Veteran Women - Suzanne Borg 1:21:47, Lee-anne Palmhert 1:24:09, Stefanie Faul 1:26:24.