De Lange and Steyn Conquer the Kuiseb

TRISTAN de Lange and Irene Steyn were crowned the King and Queen of the Kuiseb after winning the male and female categories of the Kuiseb Classic on Saturday.

It was the second year in a row that De Lange had won the title, while it was the third year in a row that Steyn had won the title.

De Lange, who was riding for Mannie’s Bike Mecca, completed the 100km mountain bike marathon in a time of 3 hours 26 minutes 35 seconds to finish more than five minutes ahead of Michael Pretorius and Martin Freyer of Team Kia Elite, who both finished in a time of 3:32:07.

Jacques Celliers came fourth in 3:39:04 and Pierre Knoetze fifth in 3:39:05.

The 16-year-old De Lange also won the Kuiseb Mountain King and Kuiseb Road King titles, but his winning time was well below his record time of 3:18:18 that he established last year.

The marathon race started on the Western Bypass on the outskirts of Windhoek and took the cyclists over the Kupferberg Pass through the Khomas mountains to the Us Pass and the Kuiseb River.

From the beginning of the race De Lange, Pretorius, Freyer and Hennie Kohne went to the front and gradually built up a lead of more than six minutes on the chasing pack.

The four cyclists stayed together for the first 62km whereafter De Lange broke

away and over the following 8km built up a two minute lead on the chasing three

riders up to the second water point and checkpoint at the Us Pass.

From the checkpoint the riders followed a jeep track all the way through the Khomas mountains with very steep and technical downhills. The chasing three riders never caught up with De Lange, who increased his lead, but the Kia Elite riders managed to break away from Kohne at the 80km mark.

In the women’s category Irene Steyn of Mannie’s Bike Mecca was crowned Queen of the Kuiseb with a winning time of 4:10:32 with Michelle Vorster coming second in 4:12:40 and Johanita de Waal third in 4:38:36.

Anneke Steenkamp came fourth in 4:43:02 and Maike Bochert fifth in 4:44:37.

Steyn’s time was just under three minutes slower than her winning time of 4:07:39 in 2013.

Steyn also won the Kuiseb Road Queen title, while Michelle Vorster won the Kuiseb Mountain Queen title.

It was the third consecutive year that the race had been held while a record entry of 150 riders competed in this year’s event.

Source : The Namibian