Kenya: Hans Becking and Duncan Ruto win LOOP Safari Gravel Series


Dutch cyclist Hans Becking and and Kenyan biker Duncan Ruto emerged winners of the 120 and 60 Kilometres cycling categories at the LOOP Safari Gravel Series hosted at Hell’s Gate National Park in Naivasha, Kenya, at the weekend, respectively.

The third edition of the LOOP Safari Gravel Series 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 the 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 category, Maddy Nutt from 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. The 20-kilometer race had an entry comprising of recreational cyclist and junior participants.

The top winners in the elite 120 kilometres for both men and women were awarded a cash prize of KES 20,000, while the victorious teams received KES125,000, KES100,000 and KES70,000 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 endeavours 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.”

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 enhancing biodiversity, and supporting sustainable development in favour of the next generation. Ultimately, our dedication to these initiatives reflects our broader goal of fostering a healthier, greener planet.” Mr.Muriuki, added.

With the series now moving towards its grand finale, anticipation is high for more thrilling moments and fierce competition during the final leg of the series on the 24th of August in Vipingo, Kilifi County.

The LOOP Safari Gravel Series is organized by LOOP Digital Financial Services (LOOP DFS) and Team Amani to promote cycling as a healthy lifestyle and position Kenya as a Gravel cycling destination. The Naivasha leg of the series was 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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