Hans Becking and Duncan Ruto Won The 120 and 60 Kilometers Cycling Categories During The Third Leg Of LOOP Safari Gravel Series

From left- 120km race podium finishers Lukas Baum from German (second position) Hans Becking from Netherlands( winner) and USA’s Chad Haga ( third position). PHOTO/COURTESY

NAIVASHA, Kenya– The 3rd edition of the LOOP Safari Gravel Series, hosted at Hell’s Gate National Park in Naivasha, witnessed an impressive turnout of over 467 both elite and recreational cyclists from different nationalities across Africa, Europe and USA.  Participants braved the challenging terrain, demonstrating their endurance and skill amidst the breathtaking landscapes that Kenya has to offer.

In the demanding 120-kilometre elite race, Hans Becking from Netherlands clinched the top spot clocking a remarkable time of 3:12:59 while Lukas Baum from Germany and Chad Haga from USA secured the second and third positions respectively with an impressive performance of 3:17:02 and 3:28:54. In the women’s category, Maddy Nutt from the United Kingdom emerged the winner while Xaverine Nirere from Rwanda and Amity Rockwell from USA finished in the second and third positions respectively.

In the 60-kilometre race, Duncan Ruto emerged the winner, demonstrating remarkable talent and tenacity by finishing with a time of 2:23:01. He was followed closely by Swarbi and Geoffrey Kariuku who clocked 2:25:00 and 2:25:02 respectively.

From left- 120km race podium finishers Lukas Baum from German (second position) Hans Becking from Netherlands( winner) and USA’s Chad Haga ( third position) pose for a photo after finishing the race. PHOTO/COURTESY

The 20-kilometer race had an entry comprising of recreational cyclist and junior participants

The top winners in the elite 120 kilometers for both men and women were awarded a cash prize of KES 20,000, while the victorious teams received KES 125,000, KES 100,000 and KES 70,000 in prize money for the first, second and third positions respectively.

Speaking at the event, LOOP Digital Financial Services CEO Eric Muriuki expressed his enthusiasm: “We are thrilled by the passion for gravel cycling demonstrated by the participants drawn from different nationalities. As LOOP, we remain committed to supporting endeavors that promote not just athleticism but also showcase the incredible landscapes that our country is blessed with. Through this event, we aim to provide a platform for cyclist from Kenya and indeed East Africa, to develop and grow their skills and be able to compete globally. Additionally, we are seeing our customers adopt healthy living and this is a good platform to celebrate their determination for a healthy lifestyle.“

Netherlands Hans Becking finishing the 120km race at the LOOP Safari Gravel Series in Naivasha. PHOTO/COURTESY

In addition to the thrilling races, LOOP DFS underscored its commitment to sustainability by facilitating the participants in planting over 250 trees during the event, further contributing to the environmental conservation efforts.

“We believe that our commitment to environmental conservation is integral to the sustainability of our operations. Therefore, through tree planting, we not only hope to mitigate the impact of climate change but also enhance biodiversity and support sustainable development in favor of the next generation. Ultimately, our dedication to these initiatives reflects our broader goal of fostering a healthier, greener planet.” Muriuki, added.

With the series now moving towards its grand finale, anticipation is high for more thrilling moments and fierce competition in the final leg of the series on 25th August in Vipingo Ridge, Kilifi County.

The series is organized by LOOP Digital Financial Services (LOOP DFS) and Team Amani to promote cycling as a healthy lifestyle sport and position Kenya as a Gravel cycling destination. The race is also earmarked as a UCI gravel world series and International Cycling Federation qualifying event where participants earned points or rankings to qualify for the Gravel World Series.

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