New Record for Dutchman At Munga

Big victory margin for Bekkenk as he solos to record

Mike Finch |

Dutchman Ramses Bekkenk took almost eight hours off the record to win the 1074km-long Munga from Bloemfontein to Wellington over the weekend.

Dubbed ‘The toughest race on earth’, heat, hills and long lonely roads challenge even the hardest competitors. the 42-year-old Bekkenk finished in an astonishing 50 hours 30 minutes (an average of 21,3km/h), with virtually no sleep, to beat second-placed Heinrich Visser by almost four hours.

Chris van Zyl, who had failed to finish in his previous three attempts, finished third while Janine Stewart won the ladies category in 71 hours 29 minutes. Competitors have five days to finish the course with the cut-off at 12pm on Monday.

“The heat is a big challenge for the riders from Europe,” Bekkenk admitted. “But I just focussed on having as much fun as possible and when I needed it, I had a small music box to keep my company.”

Bekkenk took the lead early on and rode solo for most of the course with only his mom for support at the aid stations.

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