Five hundred riders have registered to participate in this year's edition of the FNB Desert Dash Mountain Bike Challenge which takes place on Friday, 14 December through to 15 December. One hundred and thirty riders will attempt the solo challenge.
According to event organiser, Aidan Danste, this year's event will be 29kms longer than last year bringing it to 369km, which puts the FNB Desert Dash in a unique position of possibly being the longest single stage 24hour mountain bike event in the world. The event will start at 15h00 at the Windhoek Golf Club ending in the coastal town of Swakopmund the next day.
The second half of this year's route encompasses the relatively unknown areas of both the western Namib Park and Dorob Park.
The first riders are expected into the Pupkewitz Nissan Finish Zone in Swakopmund before sunrise, with the bulk of riders checking in by midday.
Dixon Norval, FNB Head: Strategic Marketing and Communications, said most people who are not cyclists are not aware of the amount of work that goes into preparing for such a distance and the extremes that go with it from very hot to very cold weather, to steep climbs and steep declines.
"You cannot just get onto the bicycle and start pedalling, 369km is not child's play and the participants have been preparing for months, some even for years for this event. Many more have prepared but could not get a slot to participate," he said.
The cut off for riders at the Pupkewitz Nissan Finish zone is 15h00 on Saturday, 15 December. Riders from America, Australia, Austria, Botswana, Britain, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Peruvia, Poland, South Africa, Spain as well as Switzerland are expected to participate in this event.