14 March 2018

South Africa: Adrian Leads Impressive Namibian Performances

Vera Adrian came second in the Cape Town Cycle Tour on Sunday to round off some great performances by Namibian cyclists in international events in the Cape province over the weekend.

Adrian was in the leading pack throughout the 76km Elite Women's race and was just pipped by Kim le Court of Mauritius to the gold medal.

Both cyclists, as well as the third-placed Maroesjka Matthee of South Africa completed the 76km event in two hours 11 minutes 50 seconds, while South Africa's former seven-time champion Anriette Schoeman came fourth in 2:11:51.

What makes Adrian's achievement even more impressive was the fact that she was still recovering from an illness, while she was competing on her own and had to withstand several attacks by Le Court's team mates.

According to Vera's father, Rolf Adrian, she had to withdraw from the Tour of Good Hope last week after falling ill.

"Vera won the first stage at the Tour of Good Hope last week, but she became ill and withdrew from the race after the fourth stage. She felt sick the whole week and decided to pull out and preserve her energy for the Tour of Cape Town," he said.

"Vera did very well at the Cape Town Cycle Tour considering that she was on her own against six riders in Kim's team, while she also came off a gruelling Tour of Good Hope, while Kim was well rested," he said.

Martin Freyer also excelled for Namibia by finishing fifth overall in the Elite Men's category of the Cape Town Cycle Tour, finishing a second behind the winner, Nolan Hoffmann of South Africa.

Hoffmann, who won the race for the third time after previous victories in 2013 and 2014, completed the 109km event in two hours 37 minutes 30 seconds, followed by Sam Gaze of New Zealand and Reynard Butler of South Africa (both in 2:37:30), while fourth-placed Luca Mozzato of Italy and Freyer both finished in 2:37:31.

Another Namibian cyclist, Drikus Coetzee also excelled by finishing in the top 20 of the Elite Men's category.

Coetzee and Freyer also competed in the Tour of Good Hope and excelled by coming first and second in the amateur category.

Michelle Vorster, meanwhile, competed at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Stellenbosch on Saturday, where she came 43rd in the Elite Women's race.

Annika Langvad of Denmark won the race in one hour 33 minutes 14 seconds, followed by Pauline Ferrand of France (1:33:27) and Anne Tauber of the Netherlands (1:33:48).

Vorster finished nearly 14 minutes behind in 1:47:12, while she was also the last cyclist to complete the race and not to be pulled off after being lapped.

Mariska Strauss of South Africa was the first African cyclist, finishing 28th in a time of 1:40:38, while Cherie Redecker was the second African cyclist, finishing 35th in 1:44:38.

Namibia's Tristan de Lange competed in the Men's u23 category and finished 61st overall after being lapped by the leaders.

Namibia's top cyclists will now prepare for the Commonwealth Games which take place on the Gold Coast, Australia from 4 to 15 April.

Dan Craven, Martin Freyer, Drikus Coetzee and Tristan de Lange will represent Namibia in the men's events, while Vera Adrian and Michelle Vorster will compete in the Elite women's races.

Craven, Freyer, Coetzee and De Lange will compete in the Men's Road Race; Freyer and Coetzee in the Individual Time Trial; and De Lange in the mountain bike race.

Adrian and Vorster will compete in the Women's Road Race, while Adrian will also compete in the Individual Time Trial and Vorster in the women's mountain bike race.

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