Namibia will pose a serious threat to Team Rwanda’s ambitions of qualifying for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the upcoming African Mountain Bike Continental Championships slated for May 8-10 in Musanze.
The experienced duo of Heiko Redecker and Xavier Papo will represent Namibia in the men’s elite category and will be hoping to benefit from the experience they amassed from recent competitions in Namibia and South Africa.
The 25-year-old Redecker who is a three-time national junior champion has since won the national title twice in the U-23 category and represented Namibia at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland in the men’s cross country finishing 18th after clocking 1:53:44.
Redecker also got the opportunity to represent Namibia at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup events last year in Nové Mesto na Moravě (Czech Republic), the UCI MTB World Cup – Albstadt (Germany) and the BMC Racing Cup – Gränichen (Switzerland) .
Team Rwanda Cycling head coach Jonathan ‘Jock’ Boyer admitted that Namibia and South Africa pose the biggest threat for the home side because of the experience they have amassed over the years through the many competitions they take part in.
He said, “Namibia and South Africa are very strong teams because they have been competing in mountain bike competitions for many years and because of this, they have a lot of experience.”
Michael Pretorius and Martin Freyer will compete in the men’s U-23 category while Michelle Forster is the sole representative in the women’s elite category. All the U-23 riders will compete alongside the elite men but will be categorized in their own category.
The pair of youngsters Tristan de Lange and Brandon Plaatjies will compete in the men’s junior competition and will be up against Rwanda’s upcoming mountain bike rider Samuel Mugisha.