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Namibian riders get ready for SA challenge

Namibian motocross (MX) riders are using every opportunity to prepare for the Motocross of African Nations (MXoAN) taking place next month in South Africa.

The challenge is set for 11 to 13 August at Zone 7 in Cape Town, and Namibia is sending a 21-man team under the experienced captainship of Mark Sternagel.

Sternagel spoke to Top Revs about the event on the sidelines of the sixth leg of the national championships at the MX stronghold at the Gallina MX Park north of Windhoek.

“At the beginning of the year, the organisers said the riders who will represent Namibia at this prestigious event need to do the entire season and the top five or fastest riders in the championship will be selected, and this is what we did. We chose the five fastest riders and they make up the team,” Sternagel said.

Sternagel expects a tough and fierce competition, as they will come up against riders from Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and host country South Africa.

“It is going to be tough, as it is a very big event featuring the very best of South Africa and of every participating country,” Sternagel said.

Sternagel does not only set the bar on the MX tracks, but also spends a lot of time training and assisting the youngsters to become the best.

Meanwhile, the only female rider who will join the team, Zoe Waldschmidt, said she would have appreciated it if there were other female riders going to the MXoAN.

Unlike in Namibia where she takes part in the same races as her male counterparts, she will face a women-only team in Cape Town.

“It is nicer to have more girls and to have our own class and not just riding with the boys the whole time,” Waldschmidt said.

The riders are working on their fitness and spending a lot of time in the gymnasium and MX tracks in preparation for the event.

Zoe has the backing of her father, Ingo Waldschmidt.

The team consists of Oliver Mathews, Markus Pack, Duhan Steenkamp, Duhan van Wyk, Juan de Vos, Marco Lindemeier, Leander Metzger, Gero Friederich, Jarno Metzger, Bjorn Kebbel, Rigo Wolf, Markus Muller, Waldschmidt, Uwe-Thorsten Sternagel, Olaf Pack, Sigi Pack, Tony Viljoen, Mark Sternagel (captain), Don-Ray Botha, Dale Davies and Stephan Maishatz.

Ingo Waldschmidt said preparations are on track and he is happy with how things are running towards the MXoAN event and hopes there will be no injuries during the final preparations and training sessions.

Asked about the other participating countries, Waldschmidt said South Africa will be a formidable team, as they have some of the top riders in the tournament. Just like South Africa, Waldschmidt said, all the participating countries will present their top riders.

“Mark, as our number one, will fly our Namibian flag and it will be a big learning curve for the other ones,” he said.

Apart from Momentum, the main sponsor, many other sponsors are onboard to make this event a reality for the riders.

Meanwhile, the results for the past weekend’s leg 6 are as follows:

50cc junior: 1. Mason Meyer, 2. Milko Botha.

50cc senior: 1. Oliver Mathews, 2. Carter Bouwer and 3. Markus Pack.

65cc: 1. Patrick Geiger, 2. Connor Bouwer, and 3. Duhan van Wyk.

85cc: 1. Juan de Vos, 2. Marco Lindemeier and 3. Leander Metzger.

125cc Junior: 1. Gero Friederich, 2. Bjorn Kebbel and 3. Jarno Maritz.

Clubmans: 1. Gino Meyer, 2. Iwan de Vos and 3. Lourens Du Plessis.

Open Class: 1. Mark Sternagel, 2. Bjorn Bierbrauer and 3. Uwe-Thorsten Sternagel.

WMX: 1. Zoe Waldschmidt, 2. Ronja Friederich and 3. Joaline Fourie.

Veterans: 1. Heiko Stranghoner, 2. Sigi Pack and 3. Olaf Pack.

King of the Dirt: 1. Sternagel, 2. Bierbrauer and 3. Uwe-Thorsten Sternagel.