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KIA MTB Series to kick off

The KIA Mountain bike Series 2013 kicks off with the third edition of the Klein-Aus Vista Challenge. More than 120 participants have signed up for the popular two-stage event taking place on the challenging and scenic track in the Aus Mountains, which are located between Keetmanshoop and Lüderitz in the South West of Namibia.
The riders have the option to compete the full (132 km/66 km per day) or half-marathon (66 km/33 km per day). Registration will take place on 1 May between 4pm and 9pm at the race office in the KIA gazebo. The stages are set to start at 7.30 am on the parking area of the Desert Horse Inn at the Klein-Aus Vista Lodge. On both days at 3.30pm prizes will be awarded to the top three riders of each category in the Castle beer tent. Several lucky draw prizes are also going to be handed out.
In the men’s full marathon category, Mannie Heymans will try to defend his title. Last year the three-time Olympian covered the 110 km distance in 5 hours, 13 minutes and 37 seconds to finish well ahead of second placed Piet Swiegers (5:37:53) and bronze medalist Frans-Anthonie Gerber (5:59:12).
This time around, however, Jan Dams is tipped as favourite to lift the trophy. At the prestigious Trans Andes Challenge 2012 in Chile, the Belgian won two stages and clinched third spot overall. In addition, the KIA junior riders Martin Freyer and Michael Pretorius as well as Marnus Verdoes, are eager to compete for top honours.
The KIA Mountain bike Series 2013 will continue with an event in Swakopmund on 26 May  followed by the Otjiwa MTB Marathon a week later on 2 June . KIA stages a total of four races and has put aside prize money amounting to N$25 000, which will be handed out to the top riders of the women’s and men’s competitions in the course of the season. The last competition of the series will be the Uris Mountain Bike Classic in Tsumeb on 29 June.
In Windhoek the Rock and Rut Mountain bike Club recently hosted the opening race of this year’s cross country series in the capital. Heinrich Köhne won the men’s event and Irene Steyn won the women’s event.

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