Illovo Eston Marathon

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Total Distance: 60.0km, 2hr15:18min

TIB Takes 5th place at the prestigious Illovo Eston MTB Marathon

The Illovo eston has become one of the biggest MTB events in South Africa with well over 3000 people attending this one day event. The 2012 edition of the 60km marathon was the fastest paced event ever with a winning time of just over 2hrs10min. The overall pace was made even quicker with Max Knox returning fresh off his European racing stint ready to claim the overall prize.

From the start line the pace was quick, made even more intense by the Hot spot sprint point just 3km into the race. The sprint was won by Brandon Stewart but after pulling out the race with illness the actual prize went to Knox who crossed the hotspot line in 2nd place. With the likes the 3 RECM team mates it was always going to be hard up front as an individual without the help of a team mate and I learned the hard way of what can and cant be done. The team tactics were great to watch but I was on the receiving end of some very good riding when Neil Macdonald attacked hard with Max Knox 10km into the ride. I responded but Neil’s team mates Waylon and Luke were never going to chase down their team mate actively and I was left out in front for a while. We were joined by Rene Goustra who wasn’t part of team RECM and he helped pick the pace up for the chase group.

Luke and I tried a big attack with 8km to go but were brought back by Rene followed by Waylon. The decisive move came with 5km to go when Luke pushed the pace up and we dislodged Rene, Waylon then attacked hard and I tried to bridge the gap which sat at 5m to 10m for 2km. He continued to push whilst Luke sat on my wheel just in case I managed to bridge the gap to Waylon’s wheel where he would then move over for another attack.  But I couldn’t bring Waylon back and Luke under team orders sat on my back wheel until the last 50m where he jumped out of my slipstream to claim 4th place.

Next weekend we’re off to race cowen house where we’ll enjoy the technical riding through the Hilton plantations.

Mens Results
1st Max Knox 02:10:26
2nd  Neil Macdonald 02:14:24
3rd Waylon Woolcock 02:15:29
4th Luke Roberts 2:15:44
5th Andrew Hill 2:15:45

(from left to right: Hill, Woolcock, Knox, Macdonald, Roberts)

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