Hill makes it four out of five at the Tour Durban Off-road event
Durban played host to yet another successful Tour Durban event over the long weekend, notably with a diverse number of events on offer during the public holiday. The diversity of events proved to hit the mark as the event attracted over 4000 entrants hitting the streets for a day in the sun. The 55km cyclo-cross race for Mountain Bike enthusiasts was won by former champion Andrew Hill (TIB Insurance). Hill streaked away alone at the front as soon as the race left the tar and hit the single track, and comfortably added the cyclo-cross scalp to the aQuellé Tour Durban MTB title he won several years ago, bringing his tally of wins at this event to four in five years.
“I managed to get a gap on a sharp climb shortly after we left the tar road,” said Hill. “The problem was that there were three guys behind me, and if they worked well together they could have hauled me in.” “ I knew I had to put my head down and time trial on the tar sections and make the single track count as much as possible”
Talented rider Travis Walker’s race ended with a puncture, largely because he gambled by using a cyclo-cross tyre that wasn’t able to withstand the hammering on the single track sections. Julian Jessop took the silver from Brian Powell.
Up front The TIB athlete made use of his informed tire choice to really put pressure on the chasers. This move proved to be the profitable for Hill who finished a couple of minutes ahead of the 2nd and 3rd place finishers. “I really had to think about the tactics of this race and when I saw Travis at the start line with the skinny tyres I was a bit worried, but in the end the soft sandy section would have made for very hard going” commented the 2014 winner.
“It was always going to be interesting and technical and the set-up for a race like this gets the guys talking. It is a race I have supported from the beginning and I am chuffed to get another win,” Hill added.
1st Andrew Hill
2nd Julian Jessop
3rd Brian Powell