Cycling fest at IJG Trails

Alex Miller in action. File photo

The Namibia Cycling Federation and Rock and Rut Cycling Club will host the 2024 Nedbank Namibia XC1 Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) C1 and UCI Junior Series XCO races at the IJG Trails at Kleine Kuppe tomorrow.

This is the second round of the five races in the Nedbank XC series and the only one that will see cyclists score International Cycling Union (UCI) points.

The event is expected to attract between 140 and 150 local and international cyclists who are set to vie for UCI points.

Rock and Rut chairperson Hanso Diehl says preparations are on track.

“We expect a few more locals to still come and do late registration. This event will allow the elite, under-23, and junior racers to score UCI points, which is important to participate in certain international events. The track is also in good shape, with many difficult technical elements to negotiate on the day of racing. Administrative-wise, everything is in order,” he says.

Diehl says both local and South African (SA) commissaires, who will be in charge on the day, are UCI-certified, adding that hosting a race to UCI specifications challenges both organisers and racers, which raises the level of mountain biking in Namibia to international standards.

He called on local cycling enthusiasts to come in numbers and to cheer on the local cyclists as they test their mettle against international competitors from SA and Lesotho.

The track, which includes obstacles like rock gardens, jumps and steep climbs, is bound to provide entertainment for spectators.

Last year, Namibia’s Alex Miller and SA’s Candice Lill won the elite men’s and women’s races.

Tyler Jacobs followed compatriot Lill for second place, with Monique du Plessis of Namibia finishing third.

Miller won the race ahead of SA’s Philip Buys and Johan Van Zyl came in third.

Miller is back to defend his position, fresh off a win at the Nedbank XC0, the first race in Rock and Rut’s series, earlier this month.

An epic battle to watch out for will be the one between Namibia’s Daniel Hahn and South Africa’s Massimiliano Ambrosi.

Ambrosi beat Hahn to second place at last year’s Nedbank XC1 and the 2023 African Championships.

The year before, on home turf in Windhoek, Hahn came out on top, and he will be out to repeat the feat.

Michael Foster, the U23 men’s African champion, will be racing in a strong field that includes Namibia and SA’s top young talent.

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