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Desert Dash Biking a once in a lifetime challenge

From left to right: Aiden de Lange, main organiser of the FNB Desert Dash and Dixon Norval, head of Strategic Marketing and Communications at FNB. (Photograph contributed)

From left to right: Aiden de Lange, main organiser of the FNB Desert Dash and Dixon Norval, head of Strategic Marketing and Communications at FNB. (Photograph contributed)

An expected four hundred mountain bike cyclists will line up at the start on 14 December 2012 to undertake what will undoubtedly be the toughest and most challenging FNB Desert Dash presented to the country’s cycling fraternity to date.
Since inception 8 years ago, the event has made great strides as more and more cyclists are keen to test their mettle against the gruelling 340km of dirt roads through the Khomas Hochland. This is one of the most severe cycling events in the country, and has even recorded fatalities in the past.
For this year’s event, the route has been changed slightly and in the solo category, riders will be required to prepare themselves appropriately and manage their respective race efforts very carefully.
This year, FNB has increased their sponsorship amount for the event from N$150,000 to N$300,000, while an additional N$150,000 to N$200,000 is contributed indirectly for event-related goods, services and equipment.
Main organiser for the event, Aiden de Lange said “this brings the FNB financial commitment to almost N$500,000 which is phenomenal and highly valued with regards to mountain biking events.”
Dixon Norval, head of Strategic Marketing at FNB said they are proud to be the title sponsor of this magnificent event. “It all started with a small amateur project and as it grew, FNB was happy to increase its support. We support sports and the health aspects of outdoor living.”
Although the route for the FNB Desert Dash 2012 will be more daunting to all contestants, it is aimed at creating a broader awareness of the western outback of the country with its diverse ecology and  environment.
With the route traversing both private land and national parks, details of the new routes will only be released to the entered riders a few weeks before the start date.
According to De Lange, the annual event has also attracted international attention from countries as far as New Zealand and China.
Children in the Wilderness, an organization that promotes outdoor wildlife awareness and exposure to  children will once again benefit from a percentage of each rider’s entry fee. The donation target is N$50,000.

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