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The 2011 First National Bank (FNB) Desert Dash Mountain Bike Challenge will kick off on Friday, 16 December at the Windhoek Golf Club.
Four international riders will cycle in the FNB Desert Dash 340km 24hr MTB Challenge and are looking forward to bringing a more international flavour to this prestigious event.
Some of the great names include Stefan Hiene, a professional cyclists from Germany.
Hiene has recently participated in events such the Biobike-Marathon, Mountain Bike(Italy), the D’ Annunzio Bike Gardone Riviera, Mountain Bike (Italy), the Garda Bike Night (Italy) and No Limits Bike (Italy).
In all these races, he was amongst the top five cyclists to cross the finish line. He has also won numerous races such as the international Canary Island Championships, XC, the Mountain Bike Marathon Mieders, Austria and the Mountain Bike Marathon Oberammergau, Germany.
Johannes Hinterseer is another professional cyclist and tri-athlete from Germany participating in the 2011 FNB Desert Dash.
He is the winner of the Bavarian Championship Time racing as well as races such as the Garmin Alp-Triathlon, (Switzerland) and the Triathlon Miesbach, (Germany), Triathlon Oberschleissheim, (Germany) and many more. In 2011 alone, he has been part of nine events in which he was won seven. The other two international cyclists are Kristina Weber and Emiliano Ballardine.
Ballardine has been riding mountain bikes since 1990 and has been part of Team Todesco from Verona, a well-known team in northern Italy.
Weber said that she sat on a mountain bike for the first time in 2008.
“Through university and friends I came to like biking and have been caught up ever since. Before, I did track and field for five years until I exchanged my running shoes for bike shoes. My biggest success this year was the third rank in the Craft Bike Transalp in the mixed team, but the Mad East Challenge I was able to win. Another highlight was of course the national German championships, where I could claim the tenth place. Also, I was able to celebrate my first world cup title in the 10 hour world championship.”
Ingrid Goeieman of FNB, has expressed her delight with new entries of this calibre.
“When I think back to the beginning, it is amazing how this event has grown in stature and popularity. This year the on-line entries were filled so quickly that there were numerous cyclists that could not be accommodated this December. We are, however, growing and expanding every year to meet the ongoing demands, both locally and internationally,” she said.
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