Namibian national cyclist Erik Hoffmann beat a top field to the line in a close sprint to win the first stage of the Circuito Montanes Cycling Tour in Spain on Thursday, June 14.
Riding for pro Team 3C Group-Lamonta, Hoffmann was in a final break with Dutch rider Ricardo van der Velde (Rabobank) whom he beat to the finish line with centimeters to spare at the end of the 155km first stage from Santander to El Astillera. Hoffmann and van der Velde rode away from a 10-man break shortly before the finish to establish a lead of 16 seconds. The peleton finished 1:48 minutes behind the leaders.
By Festus Nakatana
Following their recent 1-0 victory against Libya, Namibia has moved eight places up in the June FIFA/Coca-Cola rankings and is in position 123. Their previous May ranking was 131. Their fellow group ten rivals Libya are in the 90th position despite going six places down.
Namibiaâ??s Brave Warriors face the DR Congo in a crucial African Cup of Nations qualifier at Windhoekâ??s Independence Stadium on Saturday, June 16.
If Namibia win the match they will almost certainly go top of the log in Group 10 and will stand a real chance of qualifying for the AFCON finals in Ghana next January.
Brave Warriors coach Ben Bamfuchile said the morale was high in the camp and that they were looking for nothing less than victory in Saturdayâ??s African Cup of Nations qualifier against the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Namibia has dropped one position down to 24th on the world rankings, following their 24-16 loss to Georgia at the International Rugby Boardâ??s Nations Cup tournament on June 6.
The defeat sees Namibia being overtaken by Chile, who are now ranked 23rd on 59,27 points, while Namibia are 24th on 58,96 points.