Illovo Eston MTB

///Illovo Eston MTB

Illovo Eston MTB

Race SPECS:

60km 2hr12min

Andrew Hill writes:  The Illovo Eston has always attracted the big crowds and at one stage claimed to be the biggest one day cycle event in the world. This year the event was certainly as popular as ever and proved to be a great day for anyone who enjoys riding a bike. The quality of field in this years’ Illovo Eston 60km was very high with many u23 riders retuning from world cup duties to add their names to the start list. The number of top riders provided a very wide net from which the eventual winner would have to escape in order to take the top step of the podium box.

Lead group making racing hard for those chasing

Lead group making racing hard for those chasing

From the early going in the 60km I could see the select group of riders were going to add some fire works to the racing once the hills started. The route profile was fast paced at first until the climbs started at 25km. This was the point where the climbers in the group could make a move and I was lucky to just hold on to the dust of current SA marathon champ James Reid, XC champ Rourke Croeser and African Continental XC Champ Brendan Davids.  I was in good company and knew I had my work cut out for me to get into the top 3 positions without some serious vas-byt.

Lead group climbing

Lead group climbing

I held onto the group until the section of race called the Italian road, which kicked up at some extreme gradient for a couple hundred meters. I reached the top with the group but a hard kick at the front of the group from James provided the ticket for me to exit out the back. 10meters turned into   20m then 30m and no matter what I did I just couldn’t bring the riders back. I chased hard and could see I was 30 seconds from the group using my GPS to calculate back. Unlucky for me the point where I lost the 3 riders was where the race became very fast and flat.  3 guys would be hard to chase down on my own but I put my head down and tried.

Taking some much needed liquids onboard

Taking some much needed liquids onboard

I held onto the group until the section of race called the Italian road, which kicked up at some extreme gradient for a couple hundred meters. I reached the top with the group but a hard kick at the front of the group from James provided the ticket for me to exit out the back. 10meters turned into   20m then 30m and no matter what I did I just couldn’t bring the riders back. I chased hard and could see I was 30 seconds from the group using my GPS to calculate back. Unlucky for me the point where I lost the 3 riders was where the race became very fast and flat.  3 guys would be hard to chase down on my own but I put my head down and tried.

Andrew climbs out the saddle to make a break

Andrew climbs out the saddle to make a break

I kept my pace up until the finish but had lost about 40seconds to a minute on the leaders. The race winner eventually was decided in a sprint between Rourke and James with Rourke coming out on top.

RESULT
1st Rourke Croeser (Kargo)
2nd James Reid (Trek,Craft)
3rd Brendan Davids (Jeep)
4th Andrew Hill (TIB)
5th Neil Macdonald (Fedgroup)

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By |2017-01-19T15:40:36+00:00August 5th, 2013|2013, RACE REPORT|0 Comments

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