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Kia Elite riders cement U23 dominance

Putting the pedal to the metal, U23 winners from left to right: Charl Fouche (3rd), Martin Freyer (1st), and Michael Pretorius

KIA Elite riders Martin Freyer and Michael Pretorius have cemented their dominance in Namibia’s U23 age division after they clinched the first and second place of the U23 marathon mountain bike national championships last weekend respectively.
Freyer’s exceptional performances also earned him the second overall place behind the winner and new XC Marathon Champion Raul Seibeb, while Pretorius still came in at a strong sixth place overall.

Coming off a double win in the same age category at the Namibian national road race some three weeks ago, Freyer and Pretorius were in outstanding shape once again. Freyer, who was also part of the national team that competed at the African Continental Road championships a fortnight ago, crossed the finish line after a gruelling 75 kilometres in 3:17:53 hours to take the first place with the U23’s. His victory was even more eye catching as he suffered a flat tyre towards the end of the race, losing time in the process. His team mate Pretorius, another national team member, came in second with 3:36:23. Third place went to Charl Fouche (4:07:32).
The other KIA Elite riders also had a good weekend. Marnus Verdoes came in 7th in the 75 km Elite category and Heinrich Köhne 9th in the 75 km sub-veteran category. Brandon Plaatjes, the latest edition to the team made 3rd place in the 35km men’s race. Plaatjes also formed part of the Namibian team that participated at the African Continental Road Championships. He was one of Namibia’s top performers, winning a bronze medal in the Road race for juniors.
Meanwhile Raul Seibeb was the overall top rider of the day. He won the category and the championship by a distance, clocking in at 3:12:30. The second place in the elite class went to Xavier Papo (3:24:25), while Heiko Redecker came in third (3:27:05).
Michelle Vorster was the quickest lady of the day to be crowned the overall winner and XC Marathon Champion for women. She finished the race (also 75 km) in a time of 3:59:46. Irene Steyn (4:07:13) and Genevieve Weber (4:20:15) from South Africa could not match Vorster’s strong performance. All three top ladies started in the sub-veteran division.

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