Top Namibian cyclist Dan Cravenâ??s dream of winning a gold medal at next monthâ??s African Cycling Championships will probably not be realised due to a lack of funds.
Craven won a silver medal in the individual time trial at last yearâ??s African Championships in Mauritius when he came second behind Robbie Hunter of South Africa. With Hunter not competing at this yearâ??s event in Cameroon, Craven stands a great chance of winning the gold medal, but the Namibian Cycling Federation does not have funds to send him to Cameroon for the event on November 10 and 11.
â??Iâ??d love to go to Cameroon to participate in the African Championships, but the Namibian Cycling Federation does not have money to send me. I think I have a great chance of becoming the African champion because last yearâ??s gold medallist, Robbie Hunter, will not be participating this time,â? he said.
Craven said he was trying to raise funds privately to participate in Cameroon but was not hopeful that he would reach his target.
Craven wins Cycle Classic
Craven recently reaffirmed his status as one of Namibiaâ??s top cyclists when he won the Namibian Cycle Classic on October 14.
Craven, Jacques Celliers and Stefan Markgraaff broke away from the pack in the Daan Viljoen hills and the three cyclists stayed together till the end when Craven won the sprint to the line.
Craven, who rides for Team.FidiBC.com on the European circuit, said the victory meant a lot to him.
â??It doesnâ??t mean much in terms of my career, but to win at home in front of the people that I know and care about is very special. Itâ??s also important for me to prove that what I am doing overseas is worth it,â? he said.
A consistent season
Craven, who has been riding for Team FidiBC.com for the past three years, was a bit disappointed with his performance in Europe over the past year.
â??I was a bit disappointed, although I had a very consistent season. In 17 of my 24 races I finished amongst the top 20 cyclists, which is a very good ratio, but I did not win enough,â? he said.
â??But Iâ??ve proved that Iâ??m strong and consistent, which gives me a lot of hope for the 2008 season. Iâ??ve also learnt a lot of lessons and I now know where my weaknesses are. For instance, Iâ??ll have to improve a lot on my sprinting if I want to improve,â? he said.
Craven and Erik Hoffmann represented Namibia at the World Cycling Championships in Stuttgart, Germany in September where Craven came 61st and Hoffmann 63rd.