2022 Mountain Biking Championships to take place in Windhoek this weekend
The most prestigious mountain biking event of the year in the Cross Country Olympic (XCO) discipline on the African continent, will be hosted by the Namibian Cycling Federation (NCF) on Saturday, 23 April, at the IJG Trails in Kleine Kuppe.
The event, sponsored by Nedbank Namibia, will have cyclists compete in categories ranging from Under 12 to Elite men and women, at the IJG Trails in Kleine Kuppe, for top honours. This event is expected to attract cyclists from over 10 African countries who will compete for the title of 2022 African Continental Champion.
The event will be held under the license of the Confederation of African Cycling (CAC), and the cycling governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). It will be officiated by Chief Commissaire, Johan Groenewald from South Africa, World Cycling Centre Africa Director CAC/UCI Technical Delegate, Jean-Pierre van Zyl, and Drug-free sports official, Sven-Ingo Linke, from Germany.
South Africa, Mauritius, Tunisia, Kenya, Lesotho and Morocco, have already confirmed their participation in the race. With entries still open, the NCF expects 120 cyclists to compete in the UCI races and around 250 cyclists in total.
NCF President, Axel Theissen, reiterated the importance of UCI eligible riders to use this opportunity to garner as many UCI points as possible.
“This is the third time Namibia hosts the African Continental Championships. With the Covid-19 pandemic contributing to the race’s hiatus, African cyclists had to forfeit the opportunity to earn valuable UCI points. The UCI points are of relevance since all international races cede their entrants according to the latest UCI rankings, which has resulted in the fact that for the last two years, most African riders had to start at the end of the starting grid,” Theissen said.
Amongst the participants will be South Africans, Matt Beers, Phillip Buys, Candice Lill, and Mariske Strauss. Our local Tokyo 2020 Olympian, Alex Miller, is in top form, having comfortably won the Nedbank XC1 UCI C1 race two weeks ago. In the Junior Men category, local cyclists, Kevin Lowe, and Daniel Hahn will be in action in hopes of garnering UCI points. Lowe and Hahn, are currently ranked 24th and 25th respectively on the UCI Junior Men ranking.
“Even though Nedbank is often praised as Namibia’s foremost corporate supporter of cycling development, the real praise should go to all our Namibian cyclists, who toil – often amidst incredible hardships – to prepare themselves in representing our country with pride. To prepare them adequately for the global stage, we need competitive events like the African Continental MTB Championships to continuously take place in our country. We will be cheering for you all at the finish line,” said Nedbank Namibia’s Communications and PR Manager, Selma Kaulinge.
Namibia is currently the second-highest ranked African country in mountain biking, with South Africa taking precedence.