Desert Dash is back for the 17th year
With just 50 days to go, the Nedbank Desert Dash returns for the 17th consecutive year on Friday December 10 and Saturday December 11, 2021.
Sponsored by Nedbank Namibia for the seventh year, the cycling event is the longest single-stage mountain bike race in the world. This year it will cover 393km from the Grove Shopping Center in Windhoek to the Platz am Meer in Swakopmund, with cyclists crossing the Khomas Hochland Mountains and across the Namib Desert to the Atlantic coast.
Speaking at the official launch yesterday, Richard Meeks of Nedbank Namibia said 2021 is a year for the history books when it comes to the achievements of the Namibian sports fraternity.
âNamibia’s growing reputation as a competent host of major cycling events is evidenced by the organization of races sanctioned by the International Cycling Union. Earlier this year, five Namibian cyclists qualified to compete in the cycling codes at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. This is a testament to the fact that Namibian cycling has come a long way and that we have gained well-deserved recognition in it. ‘continental and global scale,’ he said.
To date, Nedbank Namibia has invested over N $ 7 million in Desert Dash.
âEach year we are delighted to see so many participants, along with their friends and family, come to Swakopmund to support the cyclists. A few days before and after the event, the reception venues on the coast are literally packed. The Nedbank Desert Dash is also helping to increase support for small businesses in Swakopmund, such as adventure tours and massage parlors. We are convinced that the race has a significant and widespread influence on the economy of Swakopmund, and that it offers an ideal opportunity to promote Namibia as a fascinating tourist destination, âadded Meeks.
The executive director of the Ministry of Sports, Youth and National Service, Audrin Mathe said the Desert Dash continues to attract an international audience.
âAs a ministry, we are pleased to see that the event continues to attract international cyclists. With all travel restrictions in place, I am delighted to hear that this year the race will see participants from South Africa, Malawi, United States, Germany, Portugal, Great Britain, from France, Serbia, Canada, Ireland, Belgium and Botswana among many other countries, âhe said.
Mathe added that the government will keep in touch with the organizers to ensure that the Covid-19 regulations are respected.
Swakopmund CEO Archie Benjamin joined the remote live broadcast.
âThe Nedbank Desert Dash is unique because it brings international visibility to Namibia. On behalf of the community of Swakopmund, we would like to extend our warm welcome to all the cyclists, their teams and their supporters who will come to the city, âsaid Benjamin.