MTB ChallengeThe Namib Quest is a 6-day mountain bike stage race that begins in the historic capital city of Namibia, Windhoek and ends 6 days later in the famous coastal town of Swakopmund
Race InformationNamib Quest Information
IntroductionThe Namib Quest is a 6-day mountain bike stage race that begins in the historic capital city of Namibia, Windhoek and ends 6 days later in the famous coastal town of Swakopmund. The route will pass through the folded mountains of the Khomas Hochland, dropping down through the transition plateau into the famous Namib Desert and will include parts of the Namib Naukluft Park. Riders will have the privilege of passing through areas that are essentially closed to the general public.
Prize Money:TOTAL PRIZE VALUE N$ 150 000.00!!
1st overall - N$ 15 000.00
2nd overall - N$ 10 000.00
1st Men / woman / mix - N$ 15 000.00 = N$ 45 000.00
2nd Men / woman / mix - N$ 10 000.00 = N$ 30 000.00
3rd Men / woman - Bought prizes
TOTAL cash prizes = N$ 100 000.00 / Spot Prizes = N$ 50 000.00
Race Format:The race format will be two-person teams and the riders are both expected to finish each stage together (see race rules).
Date:The race will start on the 21st of May 2017 in the capital city Windhoek and end 6 days later on the 26th of May 2017 in Swakopmund. Registration for the race will be held on Saturday, 20th of May 2017. Details regarding the registration and start venue will be sent to all competitors by way of newsletters.
Entry Fees: (Entries for 2017 will open 1st Oct'16)Entry fees will be payable upon entry as per the following date lines.
Normal Entries – N$ 32 000.00 per team of 2 riders.
Late Entries (1st Mar’16 to close of entries) – N$ 34 000.00 per team of 2 riders.
Entries will open on 25th October 2016 and will close when 30 teams & 10 Solo riders have registered and paid. You will receive an e-mail confirmation of your entry once the online registration process and credit card or EFT payment has been processed. Once registered, riders will receive regular updates pertaining to the event.
Solo Entries – will be considered on request and subject to participant experience and approval from event organizers.
Cost of solo entry – N$ 18 000.00. (10% Increase to be added after 1st March'16)
Only team entries will be given a official event position, however solo entries will form part of the event timing and will be awarded event regalia on successful completion of the event.
Entries received after the 1st April 2017 will not be eligible for the events cycling shirt…
Packages:VIP Packages – Teams will be accommodated in large two man dome tents (2.5 x 2.5m), however VIP packages will be available at an additional cost of N$ 3,600.00 (Per team), which will entitle each team member to his / her own dome tent with metal bed.
Supporters Packages – a limited amount of Supporters Packages will be available (x20) whereby a team supporter plus vehicle will be allowed to follow the event. Cost of this package is N$ 15 000.00 per person and includes all accommodation, meals and race village facilities as what a event participant would receive, except the actual ride. Booking for this needs to be made early as there is limited space!
Shuttle Transfers – Transfer back to Whk can be booked – cost determined by number of pax.
Registration and Race Briefing:Registration of the riders will take place on Saturday, 20th of May 2017 as of 14:30 at the THE WINDHOEK COUNTRY CLUB & RESORT. This will also be the venue for the start of the event on Sunday morning the 21st May. All riders will be expected to check in at the various control points at registration where their bicycle will undergo inspection, their medical forms will be checked and signed and their personal information and entry details will be confirmed. They will then receive their official race packages that will include amongst others, their race numbers, stage information, latest race updates, etc.
The official race briefing will take place at 16:30 at the registration venue and is compulsory for all riders.
There will be a limited secure area to leave your bike overnight, at the registration venue. This will however be completely at your own risk.
Race StartThe race will officially start on Sunday, 21st of May 2017 in Windhoek and all riders will receive communication regarding the exact start venue. The first section of the race will be declared a neutral zone with riders being lead through the city until they reach the “official” race start.
Accommodation prior to the race in Windhoek will be available at various guest house establishments and hotels and a list of recommended accommodation facilities will be sent to all registered riders. It remains the rider’s own responsibility to organize and book their own accommodation. All accommodation, meals and refreshments prior to the race start on Sunday the 21st of May, are for the account of the riders and are to be paid directly by them. The organizers will do their best to assist where possible and will be available to give advice as to what alternative establishments are available for accommodation should riders wish to stay at a venue not on the list.
The race will end in the coastal town of Swakopmund where a post race prize giving will be held. Details of the venue will be made available to riders via newsletter. Accommodation in Swakopmund is once again the responsibility of each rider and we will be sending out information regarding the various options that exist to riders via newsletters.
Riders who want to book massage sessions with the event Physios need to book sessions by providing requirements to following email address:
Details of service as follows:
* Pre-booked massages at R280 per 30 minutes (Industry Standard)
* Walk - In massages on the day R300 per 30 minutes.
* All massages/riders will receive free strapping and taping as required.
Event difficulty / PreparationTake time to study the route distances and profiles available under EVENTS – RACE ROUTE.
Often the question is asked – How difficult is the route and at what level of fitness must one be to be able to complete the 6 days? This is normally a difficult question to answer as all people have different levels of ability , endurance etc, also each rider will have a different perspective of what a difficult day in the saddle would entail. We will try to provide some perspective of what to expect, based on our own cycling experience and feed back received from previous participants.
The first four days of the event takes riders through the Khomas Hochland plateau separating Windhoek from the Namib Desert and eventually the Atlantic ocean. These four days will comprise a lot of hilly terrain, short hard climbs, short technical decents, some long climbs, varying from gradual gradient to steep sections. Up side is that what goes up must come down, therefore some spectacular descents will be experienced as well. In terms of intensity of the days ride, if you have managed stages on the W2W or Sani then you will be able to manage a day on the Namib Quest…however remember this is a six day event! Half way through day four you will commence a long very fast technical decent down into the Namib Desert…possibly one of the most spectacular descents you will do on a event!! You will also be rewarded at the end of this day in the most scenic location of all the race villages, which is quite something as all the race villages are located in remote wild places.
Day 5 will entail a time trial covering a a mostly flat traverse of the “Tinkas” plains in the Namib Desert. A few sections of loose sand will be encountered however the majority of the stage terrain will enable a fast race pace. Wildlife sightings should be optimum during this stage with Zebra, Oryx, Springbok and many other species being in abundance.
GeneralAll finishers will receive a officail medal commemorating their achievement. All riders who enter will also receive preferred entry into the following years event (pending acceptance and payment), and preferential entry onto the waiting list for future events should they not be able to take part in the following years event.
All questions regarding the event and any details pertaining thereto can be directed to the organizers via the website and we will be happy to get back to you and assist where possible.
Race RulesThe following general rules will be applicable to the mountain bike event. Any race specific rules will be communicated to all participants before the event.
- Must be 18 years or older on race day
- Must be of good health and satisfactory level of fitness for an event of this nature
- Must undergo a medical examination and submit a medical report to the organizers
- Must be competent at riding off road and have basic bike repair skills to be self sufficient along the route.
- All mountain bikes may be subject to an inspection prior to the race and must be in good working order.
- Competitors may not change bikes during the event without prior consent from the Race Director.
- General components, such as brakes, shocks, tyres, etc, damaged during the event may be replaced.
- Bicycle maintenance during the days ride is the responsibility of each competitor personally, this however does not include limited maintenance (when on hand) offered at water points i.e. drive train lube, punctures etc.
- Use of tub less conversions is mandatory.
- No outside assistance is allowed along the route other than at designated spots.
- NO "TRI BARS" WILL BE ALLOWED DURING ANY STAGE OF THE EVENT!!
Helmets and Cycling Kit
- The wearing of helmets is compulsory at all times.
- Helmets are to comply with the recognized standards.
- Cycling tops are to be worn at all times.
- No open shoes such as sandals are permitted, even if they have cleats.
- The organizers reserve the right to ask a competitor to change any part of his/her kit should there be branding thereon that is either offensive or in direct competition to an event sponsor.
- Competitors will only be allowed to start a stage if they are in an acceptable physical and mental state.
- The official race doctor has the final say on the state of any competitor and has the authority to prevent a competitor from starting a stage or withdrawing a competitor on the course should he/she deem them to be in medical danger should they continue.
- Emergency evacuation for injuries will be determined by the race doctor and in such cases where it is deemed necessary, the competitor will be evacuated to the nearest competent medical facility.
- All other medical expenses will be for the sole account of the competitor and the race organizers strongly suggest that each competitor has sufficient medical cover.
- The race format will be 2 person teams.
- Team members are allowed to assist each other anywhere along the route.
- Team members may never be more than 2 minutes apart during a stage.
- Should one team member not be able to continue for any reason, the other member will be allowed to continue unofficially and will not qualify for rankings or category prizes, but will receive the official finishers medal / t-shirt.
- Should one team member not be able to continue at any stage during the event their partner can continue only after consultation and approval from the race director after a safety assessment.
CategoriesAs the Windhoek Light Namib Quest is considered a "Tour" and not a Stage Race, only the following category honors can be raced for.
- The following team categories will qualify for Cash prizes, and are subject to a minimum of 5 entries per category.In the event that there are less than 5 entries in the category, then Cash prizes will be awarded at the discretion of event organizers i.e. Only 1st or only 1st & 2nd placed teams.
i. Overall Winners (Team) 1st / 2nd
ii. Men's (Team) 1st / 2nd
iii. Ladies (Team) 1st / 2nd
iv. Mixed (team) 1st / 2nd
ii. Men's (Team) 1st / 2nd
iii. Ladies (Team) 1st / 2nd
iv. Mixed (team) 1st / 2nd
Prize Giving and Award Ceremonies
- There will be an "Race Briefing" each day at 17:00 SHARP including update of day / event standings.
- Daily prizes will be given at organizers discretion and can include Best dressed team / Best team spirit / Best entertainment etc.
- The final award ceremony will be held at the end of the race
- All award winners are to be present at these ceremonies, failing which they will be relegated and the award will be presented to the next team.
- Teams having indulged in misdemeanors during a days stage, at organizers discretion, will be subject to some form of penalty at daily Race Briefing giving.....
Race NumbersEach rider will be allocated an official race number which needs to be fixed to the handlebars, this will identify the rider from the front.
Each rider will be given a Timing Chip which will be fixed to the race number board on the bike. Should this be removed then time keepers need to be notified, failing which will result in no time being recorded.
Each rider in the team will be allocated the same number and will be defined as rider 1 or rider 2 eg 100-1 and 100-2, these will also then correspond to your tent & race bag number.
Environmental ImpactDue to the fact that riders will be passing through national parks and extremely sensitive ecological areas, any infringements of the following will result in immediate disqualification:
- No littering will be tolerated
- Under no circumstances may riders deviate from the “official” race route / path.
- All the rules and regulations pertaining to the specific race villages will be communicated to each rider and are to be adhered to
Seconding and Support
- Competitors may not receive any outside help, other than from their teammate or fellow competitors during any stage of the race.
- Riders may get technical support at the designated technical support zones
Rider / Team Withdrawals
- Any rider/team that is unable to continue must inform the Race Officials immediately, or where this is not possible, as soon thereafter as is practical.
- Riders must be aware that due to the extreme nature of the event as well as the terrain through which they will be passing, the organizers will be extremely vigilant in terms of tracking riders throughout each stage. Should a rider / team therefore withdraw between checkpoints and not communicate this to a race official, there is a very real chance that a search and rescue initiative will be put into operation. Should this occur due to a rider / team not following the official withdrawal protocol, then all associated costs incurred in such a search and rescue initiative will be for the account of the rider / team.
- Should only one rider of a team withdraw and the remaining rider wishes to continue, it is that riders sole responsibility to communicate this to the Race Director no later than 30min before the start of the next day where the withdrawal occurs after completion of the days leg. If a rider withdraws during a stage and the remaining rider wishes to continue, then that rider needs to communicate this to the Race Official at first possible checkpoint after such withdrawal has taken place.
- In the event of new “teams” being formed due to rider withdrawals, such teams will not be eligible for an official category placing and / or official team awards. Only teams completing all stages during the entire event with both riders of the original 2-person team, will be eligible for official places and awards.
- All riders finishing each stage for the full event will be recognized as official finishers and will be eligible to receive the “official” finisher awards.
Complaints / Protests
- Any team/rider wishing to protest must communicate their intention within 15min of crossing the finishing line. All protests are to be handed into the race office in writing no longer than 30min after the rider/team protesting has informed the Race Official of their intention to do so.
- All protests are to be accompanied by a deposit of N$500.00, which deposit shall be refunded in full if the protest is upheld. If however the protest is unsuccessful, the deposit in question will be donated to the AEP Trust for development of previously disadvantaged athletes.
- Any protest / complaint falling out of the above time frame, will not be entertained in any way.
General Rules and Basic Consideration
- Due to the nature of the event and in certain instances the extremely fragile terrain through which competitors will pass, it is imperative that all race rules as well as “daily pre-stage updates” be adhered to at all times.
- No rider will be allowed to leave the designated track for any reason other than an immediate emergency.
- No littering of any kind will be tolerated and riders are expected to carry ALL disposable items to the end of each stage where the necessary refuse points will be allocated.
- The event will take place predominantly on private roads, tracks, paths, etc as well as through national parks and in some limited instances on public roads. Although the organizers will do everything in their power to ensure rider safety on the few public sections, it remains each rider’s responsibility to behave in the manner that would normally be expected when travelling on such public roads.
AccommodationCompetitors will be accommodated in rustic overnight race villages throughout the event. Although very isolated and “in the middle of nowhere”, these villages will provide all the basic comforts required.
Due to the nature of the event, all competitors will be accommodated in two person tents allocated per team. There is only a limited amount of supporters vehicles that can be hosted on the route due to the nature of the course. Limited packages will be available for support vehicles and these will be offered on a first come first serve basis. Should you be interested in this additional option, please contact us and we will get back to you via e-mail.
Competitors will be required to provide their own sleeping items such as pillows, sleeping bag, sheet, etc. Mattresses will be supplied for the race and will not be required from the competitors. All sleeping items will be dealt with as per Personal Items below.
FoodBreakfast, a light lunch and supper will be supplied by the race organization together with the necessary tables, chairs, cutlery, etc. Each rider is responsible for their own nutrition during the stage / day between these meals. There will be no facilities where riders can store their own food in cold rooms, refrigerated trucks, etc. Any food or nutritional supplements that are brought with and that are not carried with the riders daily during each stage need to be incorporated into the competitors personal effects bag (see Personal Effects below).
AblutionsThere will be (VIP) chemical toilets in use at all points where other generally accepted toilet facilities do not exist. There will be no more than 40 competitors per toilet, so as to ensure an accepted standard of hygiene throughout the event. The race organizers will supply toilet paper for these toilets including staff ensuring cleanliness at all times.
There will be rudimentary showering facilities at each race village to allow all competitors to shower at the end of each day’s stage. There will be hot water and all shower enclosures will be enclosed for privacy.
Bike MaintenanceThere will be a dedicated bicycle maintenance zone at each race village to take care of any mechanical issues that have arisen. The zones will also be setup at certain strategic points along the route for each stage. All work carried out at these zones will be for the account of the competitor. These zones will be manned by private entities and as such the race organizers take no responsibility for the interaction between them and the riders.
Daily WASH & LUBE service packages will be available throughout each stage in the race village. These can either be bought at event registration, or Technical support can be contacted prior to the event. Further information regarding this (cost / contact details) will be provided in the lead up to the event.
RefreshmentsEach race village will have a “Beat the Heat” zone that will cater for all those competitors that would like to socialize and enjoy a few well-deserved refreshments after each day’s stage. A selection of cool drinks, beers, wine and snacks will be available for purchase at this zone. A detailed price list for drinks will also be communicated to you leading up to the event. This facility will be provided for on a cash basis.
Personal EffectsDue to the nature of the event, no support of any kind is allowed for any competitor (unless you have upgraded to the supporters pacakge). This means that all personal effects that riders wish to take with for the duration of the event, and which are not carried on their persona daily during each stage, needs to be transported from race village to race village by the organizers. In order to control this process and to ensure that not too much baggage is transported, each competitor will be allowed only one bag which will be tagged, at race registration into which all their personal effects that they will not be carrying during each stage are put. This will also include their sleeping items such as pillows, sleeping bags, sheets, etc. These bags will be handed in to the race organization each morning before the start of the stage and will be available once again at the end of the stage at the next race village. Under no circumstances will any competitor be allowed to include anything else into the daily luggage shuttle.
Shuttle service (Swakopmund to Windhoek)A shuttle service will be available after the event from Swakopmund to Windhoek. First shuttle will depart from the event end point, on the afternoon of the last stage at 14:00. A final shuttle will depart from the Alte Brucke Resort in Swakopmund at 09:00 on Saturday the 28th May - ( http://www.altebrucke.com/contact.php ).
Shuttle prices will depend on number of pax utlizing this service (+- N$ 600.00 pp).
NB: Large trailers are provided for the transportation of bikes, these however will not be "bike trailers" as in the past there has been various difficulties associated with this arrangement. You are therefore encouraged to supply your own "bike box", alternatively we will provide for soft material which will be placed between the bikes during transport. Bike boxes can be handed to us at registration, we will arrange for these to be handed to you at the end point.
SecurityThe major portion of the race will take place in very remote places where the greatest threat of theft or other malicious activities will be more than likely to come from the competitors and support crew, rather than anyone else. The organizers will however, endeavor to ensure that sufficient security is present wherever and whenever it is needed throughout the event.
Namib Quest ResultsWindhoek Light Namib Quest - 2015 Results
Windhoek Light Namib Quest - 2014
OverviewThe race will commence in Windhoek where riders will be lead through the centre of the city under a neutral zone until reaching the Kupferberg road heading off up the Kupferberg Pass and onto the magnificent Khomas Hochland range. The race will cross the Khomas Hochland by way of tracks and paths transcending the various farms until it drops through the transitional plateau and into the Namib Desert. The race will then pass through the Namib Naukluft Park and will eventually end in the tranquil coastal town of Swakopmund.
(Scroll to bottom of page to upload maps & route profiles in PDF format)
Maps Accreditation – Tracks 4 Africa
Stage 5 - Distance 134km - Ascent 222m - Descent 1335m - Avg Gradient -0.8%
Stage 5 Profile
Stage 6 - Distance 56.2km - Ascent 455m - Descent 598m - Avg Gradient -0.3%
Stage 6 - Profile
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