Vorster and Papo are the riders to beat in the MTB Gravel & Dirt series
Michelle Vorster (left) and Xavier Papo dominated the past weekend’s Ugab Terrace MTB challenge, respectively taking first positions in the Elite female and male categories.
The Ugab Terrace race was run in the Ugab canyon near Sophienhof Lodge in the Outjo district. It formed part of the Gravel & Dirt MTB series sponsored by Hollard Insurance. One hundred and sixty five riders started the 40km and 70km routes.
Both distances challenged the riders with sandy and rocky terrain, as well as the climb to the Ugab Terrace followed by a treacherous decent to the riverbed below. The Ugab Terrace tests not only endurance but also technical skill.
Both Papo and Vorster showed their intention to win, taking the lead early in the race but Drikus Coetzee, Irene Steyn and Michelle Doman were not to hand victory on a silver platter to the two leaders. The competition was fierce and intense.
This year’s Ugab Terrace MTB included a 10km fun run as part of its entry options. “It is important to provide the means for all adventure sports to thrive, and to lay a foundation for both established and up-and-coming athletes,” stated the organisers afterwards.
Eventually, Papo won the Elite men category in two hours 47 minutes with Coetzee second and Ruan van Staden third. Among the Elite females, Vorster steadily increased her lead, winning with a comfortable 19 minutes separating her from Steyn. Third was Doman.
The MTB Gravel & Dirt series is sponsored by Hollard, Namibia Breweries, Gondwana Collection, Dulux, Nexus, Food Lovers Market, Pupkewitz Megabuild, Sasa Safari Camp, Adeva, Herman Krause Insurance Brokers, Puma, Total, Weimann’s Garage, OK Foods, Be Hair, Eldorado Guest House, Multicon Namibia, Etosha Garden Hotel, Platinum Plumbing, Robran, Riverside Pharmacy, Rhino Trek, Plumbco, Mannies Bike Mecca, Bank Windhoek, Basecamp Namibia, Namibian Cycling Federation, Northern Fuel Distributors and Krank’d Clothing.
The next event in the series is the Skyride MTB Marathon at Heja Lodge near Windhoek on Saturday 04 August.