Miller, Looser win first ever Nedbank National XCM Championships
The first-ever Nedbank Namibia Cross Country Marathon (XCM) Championship race at Farm Otjompaue on the Matchless Road, west of Windhoek which was held over the weekend, saw over 60 cyclists competing in different categories.
Also included a UCI component where cyclists riding in the Elite and Under-23 rounds had to compete to garner Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) points for boosting their world rankings which are key determinants for cyclists to compete in international events like the Olympics.
Speaking at the event was Namibia Cycling Federation President, Axel Theissen; who explained why they chose a new venue for the XCM Namibian debut.
“The XCM is the first of its kind in Namibia and it is because of that, we opted for a different venue which has not been used in cycling before to give cyclists a new challenge. No rider from Windhoek and the surrounding towns has ridden the track before, which makes the race that much more interesting and fun for the cyclists”, Theissen mentioned.
“As this is a national race, the winner in the Elite/Under-23 men and women’s category will receive the official Namibian race jersey, which means that they can represent the country at local, regional, and international cross country marathon races”, Theissen concluded.
Winner in the Elite/Under-23 Men’s race, Alexander Miller, who completed the race in a close sprint finish with Nedbank Desert Dash 2021 winner, Tristan de Lange; says he is happy with the results, but the race was not as easy to complete. “The new course was fairly fast. The jeep tracks and steep climbs made it challenging, but I am happy with the results”, he mentioned.
Miller came in first place at a time of 02:29:46, making him the country’s first men’s XCM representative, followed by Tristan de Lange in 02:29:47; and in third, Ingram Cuff at a time of 02:38:07.
Vera Looser, who won the Elite/Under-23 Women’s race says the course was difficult to navigate, especially with the steep inclines. “It was quite hard, but it was a good race. As I was in the lead, I saw that my closest competitor was gaining momentum to surpass me, which motivated me to keep pedaling until I finish the race,” Looser said.
Looser came in first place at a time of 02:57:23, making her the country’s first women’s XCM representative, followed by Anri Krugel at 02:57:47, and Courtney Liebenberg in third at a time of 03:19:31.
Speaking at the prizegiving ceremony was Nedbank Namibia Head of Marketing and Communications, Gernot de Klerk, who thanked the organising teams for a remarkable job done. “It’s always great to come out and join the company of the cycling community and see our overseas-based cyclists compete on home soil. The fact that we are able to bring innovations like hosting today’s Nedbank National XCM race on a brand-new track is all thanks to the immense work of the Namibian Cycling Federation”, De Klerk mentioned.
“We hope to see you at the last major cycling event of the season, the Nedbank Desert Dash 2022; which promises to be an epic battle as it has been for the past eight years under our reign”, De Klerk concluded.