Standard Bank Klein-Aus Vista MTB Challenge 2018

The 8 th annual Standard Bank Klein-Aus Vista MTB Challenge was held on the 3,4th & 5th May 2018.

The 3 day stage race that took place in the scenic mountain and plains of Aus  in the deep south western part of Namibia, with endless vistas overlooking the Namib Desert. The routes follow also the historical Ox wagon route that linked Luderitz and Aus and dated back to the late 19the century. Approximately 65 % of both the half -33km and full marathon 66 per day  took place on single track with plenty of challenging ascending  and descending parts that fore sure tested the skills of the riders to there maximums especial the Costa’s Climb on day 2 with a 2 kilometer climb and an elevation gain of 220m and some gradients up to 30 degrees.

The unimaginable Costa’s Climb ride on day 2 to your name to the list of riders who have mastered the climb. 

The race kicked of on Thursday afternoon  with the Time Trial that was compulsory for the full marathon riders with the time that was added to the  2  x 60km stages of the marathon on day 2 and day 3. The Time Trial will follow a short 10-12 km technically cross country still  demanding track with a 380m elevation gain. Denzel De Koe finished with 1st with a time of 38minutes and 39 seconds that was  1 minute and 16 seconds faster than  Xavier Papo. Michelle Vorster finished 1st in a time of 46 minutes and 39 seconds almost 6 minutes ahead of now retired Hannelie Booysen a former 2 times ladies winner of the Absa cape Epic.

On the mornings of 4 and 5 May the starting time for both Half and Full Marathon riders was at 8.00am. On day 2 during the full marathon there was a titanic struggle between De Koe & Papo and on kilometer 42  with neither of the front runners being able to conquer the summit of the Costa’s Climb. Papo was the clocked the fasted time over the 2 km climb in a time of 12 minutes and 47 seconds to win the king of the mountain price of N$2500 sponsored by Candor IT. It was the young 18 year old Schalk van der Merwe that upset the field to become the only rider  to master the unimaginable Costa’s climb Summit. Papo pulled away on the last 1/4 of the race to finished first in front of De Koe with 1 minute and 27 seconds. Vorster was way to strong for Booysen.

On day 3 the riders had to deal with the steep descend  down  “The Wall” and the 3 front riders snaked down the steep gradients at high speeds to cross the timing mat just split seconds apart. De Koe was this time the fasted rider and ride away with the Sweepslang of the Mountain trophy and price money of N$2500 sponsored by Electro Blitz for the person recording the fasted time down the 2 km “The Wall” descend. Vorster was short on the wheels of the 3 leading men, Papo and Christo Swartz.

Xavier Popo at the end defended his title of last year and was to strong for De Koe that finish 2nd and sub vet rider Christo Swartz in the 3rd place.  Michelle Vorster was first of the women with Hannelie Booysen 2nd and Ester Lategaan 3rd.  The half marathon men was won by the young Anton Englin  and  Samantha Oosthuyzen was the ladies winner. The winner of the Aus development rider men was Dennis Gerson with the price money sponsored by Standard Bank Namibia.

We also would like to thank all the sponsors that have contributed to allow us to host this event:

Standard Bank Namibia as the Title sponsor has contributed to all the  cash prizes for the podium positions in the different categories as well as  N$2000 cash price for the Aus development rider in the half marathon.

Gondwana Collection has sponsored the Victor & Victrix Ludorum prices for the overall winner Male and Female, N$10 000 each and also had a video and photograph team on the ground to capture all the action. Video and photo links will feature very soon on the website, Face Book and YouTube.

Maerua & the Grove Super Spar sponsored N$20 000 for gift voucher for the podium positions in the different categories on day 2 and overall

Candor IT has sponsored N$2500 for the rider with the fastest ascend up the “Costa’s Climb”. The also made available an additional N$20 000 to further built new MTB tracks for future races or just for social riding.

Electro Blitz has sponsored N$2500 for the rider with the fastest descend down the 2 km “The Wall”.  The also made available an additional N$20 000 to further built new MTB tracks for future races or just for social riding.

Beyers Kloof Wines sponsored Magnum bottles of red wine for the podium positions in the different categories on day 3.

Heinrich Kohne from Cycledelic Bike shop was responsible for the Tec zones at water point A/C and the Start/Finish and made sure the wheels kept rolling after every day.

Namibian Breweries made available a benches, tables, fridges, as well as tent.

Race organizer Piet Swiegers would like to thank all the rides that came form far to take on this challenge. Swiegers also especially thanked Standard Bank Namibia as the Title sponsor that has been a loyal partner for the past 7 years. He also  announced that the next race will be held in 2020 with a new format and more exciting routes and the dates will be released in  early 2019.