3 Dec 2019
This year Gondwana has entered five teams into the annual Nedbank Desert Dash. We sat down with Frank Snyman who is the team coordinator of the 4-man Gondwana Masters team. He sourced the four cyclists, some of whom have previously participated in other competitions together. Experience is important to him, but mindset matters more than anything else. The excitement one day before the race is blue-sky high (perhaps grey due to the rain!), but since it is a 24-hour race, blue skies will turn dark at some point. How will the riders cope with this and all the other elements that will come into play?
Meet the team:
For Rob Sim (from Cape Town), the pressure is on, only because they made it to the top of the podium last year. He is back for more team spirit, but more than that, he is back for the post-race treats at The Delight Swakopmund. Sure, the journey is important, but the destination is a definite incentive when oysters and bubbly await on the other side of the finish line. He is astonished that the often cool and moist Swakopmund directly borders the hot Namib Desert.
Piet Swiegers (from Klein-Aus Vista) needs no introduction in Namibian cycling circles. His favourite part of the race is participating with his dream team. This will be his fourth time cycling the Nedbank Desert Dash, and he has an eye on the podium for a third time. Recovery is everything, which is why he is looking forward to breakfast at The Delight Swakopmund.
Udo Bölts (from Frankfurt, Germany) came to Namibia a few days ago for the first time ever and is looking forward to the stories that he will go home with. He has 12 consecutive Tour de France behind his name, amongst many other international races. For him, it is not just about cycling as hard as you can through the desert, but also about everything that happens before, in between and after – the fun and the funny stuff during the race, having a braai with the Gondwana team (he gets us), the people behind the event and their backstory, plus everything that happens after the dust of the race has settled.
Nico Pfitzenmaier (born in Germany, currently lives in Cape Town) enjoys races where there is a journey from point A to point B. Although cycling at night is unusual for him, he has no problem waving his comfort zone goodbye to go full out in the Nedbank Desert Dash. Winning would be great, but the real bonus for him is the diverse and scenic landscapes. Indescribable peace and vastness are on the forefront of any Namibian experience. Also, Nico is a vegan, and he has our full support. We even brought him veggies to the Gondwana braai.
The elements are unpredictable, but that does not matter because all cyclists are in the same boat. (Or saddle in this case? Let’s make that a peloton…) The team simply focuses on what they know – working together to do what they love and know best – cycling!
From Gondwana’s side, good luck to all cyclists participating this weekend! See you at the halfway point a.k.a. the Gondwana Village.
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