The 37th edition of the annual Nedbank Cycle Challenge was officially launched in the capital yesterday, with organisers promising a bigger and better event this year.
This year’s event is slated for Sunday, 12 February, in the capital – and over 1 000 cyclists are expected to grace the race, which is one of the country’s biggest and highly competitive cycling competitions.
Last year, the event attracted over 750 participants, with the organisers yesterday indicating the interest in this year’s event is overwhelming and well over 1 000 riders are expected to partake.
The Nedbank Cycle Challenge – dubbed the ‘Greatest Ride Under the Sun’, saw its debut in 1986 and it is one of the oldest competitive cycling races in Namibia. Last year saw cyclists taking part in varied distances of 20km, 30km, 60km and 100km. This year’s race will have the same race distance categories and will start at the Nedbank Campus on the corner of Fidel Castro and Rev. Michael Scott Street. It will conclude on Independence Avenue in front of Zoo Park.
In his official remarks, Nedbank Namibia chief financial officer JG van Graan stated the Nedbank team is proud to be part of an organisation, which actively and intentionally sets out to do good in the communities it serves in.
“For 37 years now, we’ve proudly sponsored this competitive cycling event, which has helped foster some truly spectacular bikers-in-the-making over time. We have welcomed more than 1 000 riders in recent years, making this one of Namibia’s most outstanding showcases in the area of athletics. Namibia’s growing reputation as an enthusiastic cycling nation in Africa has seen the country participating in the Olympic Games and hosting the African Continental Mountain Bike (MTB) Championships, as well as races sanctioned by the International Cycling Union (UCI),” Van Graan said.
Speaking at the same occasion, sports minister Agnes Tjongarero commended Nedbank Namibia for the continuous contribution to cycling in Namibia.
“Sporting competitions play a vital role in the development of our nation. They bring people together, promote a healthy lifestyle and foster a sense of national pride. The Nedbank Cycle Challenge is a prime example of this principle, as it not only showcases the beauty of our nation but also encourages Namibians to lead active lifestyles and take on personal challenges. As the minister of sport, I am proud to say that sport in Namibia is thriving. This is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our athletes, coaches and administrators, who have proven time and time again that they have what it takes to compete on the world stage,” said the minister.
The Nedbank Cycle Challenge co-sponsors include Windhoek Pedal Power Cycling Club, Coca-Cola Namibia, Namibia Health Plan and PayToday.