2017 Desert Dash is here

CYCLING

08 December 2017 | Sports

The Nedbank Desert Dash 2017 edition is here and is said to be better than ever, with more than 900 participants expected to cross the starting line today.

The 6-stage event sees ultra marathon cyclists covering 369 kilometres from Windhoek to Swakopmund through the Khomas Hochland Mountains and through the desert to the Atlantic Ocean, with only 24 hours to complete this grueling ride.

The first stage starts at the Grove Shopping Centre in Klein Kuppe where the route winds up to the Kupferberg pass (32 km).

Stage 2 follows the D1982 gravel road and ends just past the second bridge at the Kuiseb river crossing (67 km).

Stage 3 is the steep climbs and descents as the route crisscrosses valleys and rivers of the Khomas Hochland (76 km).

Stage 4 ends at the Namib Naukluft Park (74 km) between the different checkpoints.

Stage 5 follows the pipeline along the road between Usakos and Swakopmund and this route veers away into the desert (74 km).

Stage 6 is the final stage and ends at the Tiger Reef Beach Bar in Swakopmund (46 km).

This year male and female winners have a chance to win N$34 000, while the total prize money amounts to N$380 000. The various podium winners in the solo, two-man and four-man teams will also win prizes.

Last year’s winner, Konny Looser, who walked away as the winner of the solo male category with a time of 15:03:20, will be back to defend his title for the third year in a row.

The Finish Zone in Swakopmund is located on the beach next to Tiger Reef Beach Bar. Once a participant has crossed the finish line, their time will be recorded. The time of the last rider of a team to cross the finish line will be recorded as the team's time.

The cut-off time is at 15:00 on Saturday. All riders who have not reached the finish line by then will be recorded as non-finishers.

The prize-giving and lucky draws will take place in the Finisher Tent and will start at 16:00.

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