THE Nedbank Cycle Challenge takes place for the 28th consecutive year, starting with the mountain bike race tomorrow and culminating in the main race on Sunday, February 17.
At a media conference yesterday, the managing director of Nedbank Namibia, Erastus Hoveka, said they had decided to split the two events to give riders enough time to recuperate between the events.
Hoveka said that this year's event would go under the theme of 'Riding for a Greener Namibia' which underlined Nedbank's commitment to caring for the environment.
"Caring for the environment is not a choice - it is a responsibility. Nedbank Namibia accepted that very responsibility when we pioneered our Go Green Fund in 2001. And in this age, where a healthy lifestyle and sustainable transport have become key buzzwords, the 2013 Nedbank Cycle Challenge will be remembered as a conscious decision by our cycling participants to do their bit for the environment," he said.
Hoveka said that a record 1 500 entries had already been received for the two events, while late entries could still be made.
"The entries this year have already breached the 1 500 mark, which shows that the participation levels are ever increasing. Entries for the Nedbank Cycle Challenge on February 17 are still being allowed online at www.nedbank.com.na so gear up and enter Namibia's greenest sporting event," he said.
Hoveka also thanked Nedbank Namibia's co-sponsors for the event which include Coca-Cola, Namibia Health Plan and Kia Motors.
Online entries for tomorrow's Nedbank Mountain Bike Challenge have closed, but late entries at the registration point at Windhoek Gymnasium School will still be accepted, at an extra fee of N$100. Registration for the Mountain Bike Challenge will be between 16h00 and 21h00 today, while riders can register for various distances.
For the first time there will be a 60km race which will start at 07h00 at Windhoek Gymnasium, while the other distances over 30km and 15km will start at 08h00.
Marc Backhaus, Nedbank's marketing manager, said that they hoped to make it a fun day for the whole family.
"We want to make it a fun day for the whole family and will have lots of activities at the finish like a jumping castle, face paint, balloons and food stalls, so that participants and families can relax after the race," he said.
Meanwhile, next Sunday's Nedbank Cycle Challenge will also see an innovation, as an extra distance over 100km has been added for the first time.
According to Backhaus, the Nedbank Cycle Challenge is the only seeding event in Namibia for the Cape Argus Cycle Tour and as such, one of the prerequisites was that it had to cover 100km.
The other distances for the Nedbank Cycle Challenge are 75km, 35km or 20km.
Late entries for next Sunday's Cycle Challenge will be accepted during race registration on Saturday, February 16.