Dashing 18th Desert Dash coming up
The Nedbank Desert Dash is an iconic event, considered by many as a bucket-list challenge. It is a unique event which brings international visibility to Namibia.
Entries to the most gruelling mountain bike ride opened on 6 June. This year’s edition will take place on 9 and 10 December and will see cyclists depart from the Windhoek Grove Mall on Friday, 9 December, and arrive at Swakopmund’s Platz Am Meer on Saturday, 10 December.
The Nedbank Desert Dash is the longest single-stage mountain bike race in the world, with cyclists being afforded 24 hours to complete the 393-kilometre course through the Khomas Hochland Mountains and the Namib Desert to the coastal town of Swakopmund.
To date, Nedbank Namibia has invested over N$8 million since it took over the title sponsorship of the Desert Dash eight years ago. This year, the race has over 900 cyclists registered to race across the three categories, which are solo men and women, two-person teams and four-person teams. This year, cyclists from 17 different countries will take part in the Nedbank Desert Dash, namely Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, USA, Germany, Canada, Portugal, Zimbabwe, Britain, Australia, Italy, Switzerland, Botswana, Malawi, DRC, France and Austria.
In his official address at the official launch of the event, Nedbank Namibia chief financial officer, JG van Graan, reminisced on how the organisation of last year’s Nedbank Desert Dash was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. “Last year, we were battling to overcome the challenges of organising sports events during the pandemic, and by divine grace, we are once again launching this epic event without any restrictions or measures to be concerned about – that is something truly to be grateful for and celebrate,” he said.
Nedbank Namibia is the biggest contributor to the Namibian cycling fraternity. The bank’s cycling sponsorships include the Nedbank Cycle Challenge, which has been in existence for over 35 years; the Nedbank Windhoek Pedal Power Race Series; the Nedbank Rock n Rut XC Series, and others. “Nedbank Namibia has been the longest corporate supporter of cycling in our country. It has been more than 35 years since our bank gave its first deposit into the investment of cycling in Namibia. Since then, Nedbank has been a consistent sponsor of various cycling events, including the Nedbank Cycle Challenge and the support of a number of cycling clubs in Namibia,” Van Graan added.
The Nedbank Desert Dash is co-sponsored by Indongo Toyota, SuperSpar (Maerua and The Grove), and Hollard.