Miller and Du Plessis crowned Cross Country XCO national champions

WINDHOEK: Mountain bike riders Alex Miller and Monique du Plessis were on Saturday crowned national champions at the Nedbank Namibia Cross Country (XCO) championship held at the IJG Trails in Kleine Kuppe.

The Namibian Cycling Federation (NCF) organised the event and crowned its national champions from the junior to the senior level in the XCO categories.

Miller and Du Plessis were on the day in a class of their own dominating their respective categories.

Miller who continues to show exceptional form finished the seven-round laps of the almost five-kilometre circuit in one hour, 30 minutes and 59 seconds (01:30:59) despite stopping for almost a minute to fix his punctured tyre in the fourth lap.

He was three minutes and 44 seconds ahead of Kevin Lowe who started a minute later in the Under-23 category. Lowe was crowned the U-23 men’s champion after completing the seven laps in a time of 01:33:15 and behind Miller.

Tristan de Lange who represented Namibia at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics in the road race event
also made an appearance after being away from the track for almost a year. He finished second in the elite men’s category, nine minutes behind Miller in a time of 01:39:12.

Danzel de Koe finished third in the elite men category and was almost a lap behind in a time of 01:42:19. Apart from De Lange and De Koe all the other elite riders were lapped or retired from the race.

Meanwhile in the elite women’s category Du Plessis dominated her field finishing the five laps in a time of 01:22:19. She was 10 minutes ahead of second-placed Jean-Marie Mostert who completed her race in a time of 01:32:48. The last podium position was supposed to go to Mimi Hough, but she was lapped by Du Plessis, therefore couldn’t finish the race when the leader crossed the line.

Meanwhile, the U-23 men’s category podium spots went to Lowe who was followed by Hugo Hahn and Theuns van der Westhuizen in second and third respectively. The women’s category only had one rider competing in the event. Ashanti Auchas completed her three laps
in a time of 01:24:58.

In an interview with the media after the race, Miller said he had a good time on the track and is looking forward to the African Championships in Morocco and his European Tour.

‘This was a good race, I decided to put my foot down from the start because I believed in my form. I am now looking forward to representing my country at the African championships in Morocco,’ he said.

Meanwhile, Du Plessis said the windy conditions on the day made the race tough, but she enjoyed the competition and now refocuses her attention on her trip to Europe where she will be competing in the International Cycling Union (UCI) African Junior Team for about six months.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency