TRISTAN de Lange was in fine form on Saturday when he won the Elite Men's race at the Nedbank Cross Country UCI race at Farm Windhoek.
Competing against some of South Africa's top up and coming young riders, De Lange won the seven-lap race in one hour 28 minutes and 35 seconds, to finish just over a minute ahead of Daniel van der Walt of South Africa (1:29:36) and his compatriot, Keagan Bontekoning (1:29:52).
Another South African, Johan van Zyl came fourth, nearly two minutes behind in 1:31:47, followed by Namibia's Hugo Hahn (1:34:42) and Xavier Papo (1:40:21).
Gabriella Raith of Namibia won the Elite women's category over five laps in one hour 29 minutes and 12 seconds, finishing more than six minutes ahead of compatriot Marion Schonecke (1:35:37), while another Namibian, Irene Steyn came third (1:36:51).
In the Junior women's race over four laps, Namibia's Monique du Plessis (1:08:55) gave a great performance to beat South Africa's Andrea Schoefman (1:18:04), while Kai von During of South Africa and Namibia's Bergran Jensen were involved in a great tussle in the junior men's category over six laps.
Jensen took an early lead, but Von During passed him on the fourth lap and went on to win the race in 1:20:08, with Jensen coming second a mere six seconds behind.
After the race, Jensen said the conditions were very difficult.
"It was really tough, especially because of this heat and going up that last Trader's Climb, it felt like an oven, the heat was just pounding on me and there was no wind, and I definitely lost my rhythm. Kai also caught me on that climb on the fourth lap," he said.
Jensen said he was quite surprised to still be leading by the fourth lap.
Ï actually didn't expect to be leading, but when I saw that I was in front on the first lap, my confidence went up, I just kept on fighting, and this is where it got me. I was obviously hoping for first place, but next time," he said.
Jensen shed some more light on his future plans.
"This year I definitely still want to do some races in South Africa and my future plans are to try and make the Junior Olympics or the World Championships - we wanted to go there, but because of Covid-19 we couldn't. But that's definitely what I'm working towards," he said.
There were various other categories on Saturday, with the podium places as follows:
Sub-veteran men: 1. Michael Olokani, 2. Louis Prins, 3. Nelius Burger.
Veteran men: 1. Hans du Toit, 2. Mannie Heymans, 3. Marcel Suren.
Marathon men: 1. Pierre Lambert, 2. Jean Louis Mostert, 3. Jacques Marais.
Marathon women: 1. Mandy Huysamen, 2. Carolin Janik.
Grand master women: 1. Berrit Graf.
Master men: 1. Carl Hahn, 2. Nick du Plessis, 3. Stefan von Doorn.
Grand master men: 1. Roland Graf, 2. Andreas Brückner.
There were also junior boys and girls categories from u10 to u16 level.
The complete results are available at raceday.events