SOME of Africa’s up-and-coming mountain bike stars will be in action in Namibia tomorrow when the Nedbank UCI MTB Cross-country Olympic race takes place at the IJG Trails at Farm Windhoek.
Riders from South Africa, Zambia and Namibia will be in action in various categories as they battle it out for international UCI points.
The action starts at 10h00 with the Elite and u23 women’s race, to be followed by the sub-vet and veteran’s women’s races.
The sub-vet and veteran men’s races start at 11h30; the junior men’s race starts at 13h00; and the Elite and u23 men’s race starts at 14h30.
In the Elite men’s race, Namibia’s Tristan de Lange, Xavier Papo, Denzil de Koe, Brandon Plaatjies and Hugo Hahn will take on some of South Africa’s top young riders like Johan van Zyl, Keagan Bontekoning and Daniel van der Walt.
Van Zyl was the runner-up in the u23 category at last year’s South African Championships, while Hahn, who won the Namibian junior title last year, is now competing at u23 level.
De Lange and Van Zyl have had an interesting duel in recent weeks in the South Africa MTB Cup series, with De Lange coming fourth and Van Zyl 10th in Limpopo, while Van Zyl came 8th and De Lange 11th in Gauteng.
In the Junior Men’s category, Namibia’s up-and-coming Bergran Jensen will take on top South African riders like Luca Ruwiel, Kai von During and Gunter Katzke.
Jensen is in great form and last weekend won the Elite men’s category at the West Coast MTB race at Swakopmund.
In the Elite women’s race, Zambia’s Anita Yama will take on Namibia’s top riders like Nicola Fester, Gabriela Raith, Courtney Liebenberg, Carmen Johannes and Irene Steyn, while in the junior women’s race, South Africa’s number one, Andrea Schofmann will take on the Namibian champion, Monique du Plessis.