Looser confident ahead of Desert Dash

By Michael Uugwanga

FOUR-TIME winner of the annual Nedbank Desert Dash and Switzerland’s top cyclist Konny Looser has said that he will be coming once again to Namibia to defend his crown that he has won four times in a row in 2016, 2017,  2018 and 2019.

Looser will have to be at his best once again if he is to replicate his success against some of Namibia’s top renowned cyclists including Olympian Dan Craven, African mountain bike champion Tristan de Lange and Namibian mountain bike Olympian, Alex Miller who will all be after the top prize.

Speaking from Switzerland in an interview with Confidente Sports Desk, Looser made no secret that he is coming to win, despite admitting that it will not be easy to defend the title this year.

He also said that the secret behind his success in the Nedbank Desert Dash is the beautiful landscape in Namibia that motivates him to achieve greater heights.

“There are no secrets. You just set your mind and believe in your own strengths! Every year is different regarding the other competitors and I always have lots of respect for all the other guys.

“If I stay healthy, I should be able to go for another win. I have done races around the world but for me, the Desert Dash is the most familiar one. I love the landscape and the special experience while riding at night in the desert! For me as a European guy, this is the most spectacular thing one can do! And of course it’s also the challenge, which makes me excited,” said Looser.

The Nedbank Desert Dash will be taking place under unfamiliar conditions due to Covid-19 that has seen plenty of cycling races around the world put on hold or cancelled.

The Nedbank Desert Dash will be held for the 16th consecutive year, and for the sixth year with Nedbank as the title sponsor, from Friday December 11 to Saturday December 12 and it is also the longest single-stage mountain bike race in the world, covering 373km from Windhoek to Swakopmund, with cyclists travelling over the Khomas Hochland mountains and through the Namib Desert to Swakopmund on the Atlantic coast.   

Besides Looser there will be other cyclists from South African, Germany, United Kingdom, Botswana, Malawi, Angola, Zimbabwe, Austria, Canada, Spain and Portugal as well as one Congolese cyclist.

Looser added that Namibia is like a second home to him and he is looking forward to returning.

“It has been a very difficult year so far and there were only a few races for me. The sense of being professional sportsmen was gone and I’m happy, that one of my favourite races will be happening! I’m very excited as the race is so special and I love coming back to Namibia!

“I enjoy the Dash because the Namibian cycling community is like a family and everyone gets excited before the race and while (we are all) staying in Windhoek,” said Looser.