Nedbank Desert Dash online entries open next weekStaff Reporter
Registration for the 2021 edition of Namibia’s most iconic cycling event, the Nedbank Desert Dash, will open next week. “2020 has been quite a watershed year for us in terms of hosting a cycling event that attracts over a thousand participants. It has given us some excellent insight into hosting a mega event within the challenges the global health pandemic has been presenting since the first quarter of last year,” Nedbank Namibia’s head of marketing and communications, Gernot de Klerk, said.
Entries for the solo category open at 10h00 on Monday, 7 June, with the two-person team entries following exactly a week later. The most popular entries, for four-person teams, will open at 10h00 on Monday, 21 June. All registrations can be done online at today.com.na.
“We are quite optimistic that the increased rate of global vaccinations, coupled with heightened levels of vigilance to guard against the spread of Covid-19, will be hugely beneficial for our quest to host the 2021 edition of the Nedbank Desert Dash,” De Klerk said. He has given the assurance of full refunds of paid-up registration fees in the event that travel restrictions, however unlikely at this stage, scupper the plans of international cyclists to race in this year’s edition on Friday, 10 December.
“Our planning for the Nedbank Desert Dash has started in all earnest, having taken to heart many of the lessons of last year, as well as the invaluable insights that we have gleaned from a number of races, albeit at a smaller scale, that we have hosted in 2021 in conjunction with the Namibian Cycling Federation and cycling clubs, and with the ever-watchful guidance of the Namibia Sports Commission.”
De Klerk said the rescheduling of the 2021 Nedbank Cycle Challenge, which was slated for February this year, is quite unlikely, however.
“Our initial intent was to host the races in June to coincide with the pre-scheduled races in the Nedbank/Windhoek Pedal Power Road Race Series and Nedbank/Rock & Rut Cross-Country Series respectively, but the current health regulations are simply not conducive for a race known for its mass participation appeal. Instead, our focus will now be on, firstly, hosting another world-class Nedbank Desert Dash in December, and secondly, to plan for a February 2022 Nedbank Cycle Challenge”.
The 2020 Nedbank Desert Dash - over 373 km from Windhoek to Swakopmund in 24 hours - attracted just over 1 000 cyclists, with Switzerland’s Konny Looser and local favourite Irene Steyn bagging the honours in the solo categories.