The toughest bike race in the world: Desert Dash Namibia

The toughest bike race in the world: uvex safety and uvex sports side by side

This post is also available in: German French

Desert Dash in Namibia is regarded as one of the toughest mountain bike races in the world. uvex took to the start line with its very own team.

There are very few bike races that are as extraordinary as this one: Over 1000 cyclists take part in this event every year, crossing one of the oldest deserts in the world. They cover over 370 kilometres in 24 gruelling hours as they make the journey from the starting point inland to the finish line on the Atlantic coast.

 

To put our company’s mission statement to the test, uvex South Africa decided to enter its own team, made up of Martin Godetz (Director International Sales at UVEX Sports Germany), Christo Nel, Kyle Wood and Tiego Kekana, as well as their back-up crew Darryl Jacobs (Managing Director of UVEX South Africa) and Penda Ickua (Cymot Brand Manager PPE).

The four colleagues from sports and safety are equipped with uvex products and demonstrate what uvex is all about: Protecting people — at work, when playing sport and in their leisure time.

373 kilometres in 24 hours

Desert Dash 2018 starts on an extremely hot summer’s afternoon in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. Headwinds of up to 40 kilometres per hour and temperatures of over 30 degrees Celsius give the riders a taste of the challenge that lies ahead.

Over the next 24 hours, the race takes the participants out of the city and across the desert in Namibia to the Atlantic coast.

 

The route is divided into six stages: All riders complete the first stage and last stage together. In the four intermediate stages, only one rider from the team completes each stage.

 

As the race continues through the night, the riders try to sleep between the individual stages — whenever and wherever they can.

 

For many riders, the challenge proves too great. Over the course of the race, our team sees other riders reach their limits and give up. 186 participants quit before the end of the race.

The complete uvex team crosses the finish line in Swakopmund, an idyllic city by the Atlantic coast, after 23 arduous hours. All the participants are sure to remember this incredible, liberating moment for a long time to come.

“The most intense mountain bike event I have ever experienced”

Darryl Jacobs, Managing Director of UVEX Safety South Africa, supported our riders during the race, providing them with much-needed food and water at the various checkpoints.

He describes it as “the most intense mountain bike event I have ever experienced.

uvex is extremely proud of our team for successfully tackling the challenges of this race together. The determination demonstrated by the team and their personal development over the course of the event is fantastic. Martin Godetz’s experience and commitment played a huge part in the team’s success.

 

Equipped by uvex safety and uvex sports

Our mixed team’s participation in Desert Dash proved once again how well sports and safety complement each other within the uvex group. After all, it is not just the participants that came from both areas — the equipment did, too.

uvex sports wowed riders with the uvex city light cycling helmet. The integrated LED lighting system was a real highlight on the course and helped keep our team safe during the night.

Our riders wore the uvex pheos cx2 spectacles from uvex safety to protect their eyes in the desert. They wore the spectacles with clear lenses at night and the model with grey lenses during the day.

Our riders would not have been able to complete this race without the incredible support of Cymot — uvex’s biggest partner in industrial sales in Africa. It was on Cymot’s initiative that uvex entered a team in the race in the first place. The support provided on the ground by CEO Axel Theissen, Penda Ickua (Cymot Brand Manager PPE) and Head of Sports Mario Katzur was simply fantastic — they drove the support vehicle, supplied food and water and provided any other support needed while helping to keep the team’s spirits up.

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