LOGIN below using your ROAG # & Password / ID # :
Lookup Roag No 

Not a member? CLICK HERE to join ROAG now

Illovo Eston MTB Challenge

[image] 26 February 2016


Overall Rating  (You must be logged in to Rate the event - rating form after the article)

Croeser claims hard-fought Eston victory


Eston – As the UCI MTB & Trials World Championships draw nearer South African Under 23 star Rourke Croeser claimed a major morale boosting victory when he edged out James Reid and Brendon Davids in a dramatic sprint finish to take Sunday’s 60km Illovo Marathon, the feature race of the hugely popular Illovo Eston MTB Challenge, whilst Jeannie Dreyer cruised to victory in the women’s race.

The three top men’s competitors rode the entire race with each other, leaving little room for anything else but a sprint finish to decide the winner in which Croeser (Kargo Pro MTB) gain the ascendency and the inside line with just a couple hundred meters to go, giving him the edge over Reid (Craft/Trek) and Davids (Team Jeep) at the death.

Being in the top three within the last kilometre was something that Croeser had been working towards all race and felt that he would have enough power to claim the title should it come down to the likely sprint finish.

“I had a really good race and James (Reid) rode really well too,” Croeser said. “I just had to make sure that I was with the other guys at the end of the final climb because I backed my sprint in the final kilometre and I felt confident I could win it if I was there.”


World Champs, the pinnacle of the of the global MTB calendar, get underway at the end of the month at Cascades MTB Park and Croeser feels that he is heading in the right direction ahead of the international spectacle.

“I am at about 80% at the moment but I definitely will be ready,” enthused Croeser. “There is still a long way to go for me but this result was great for my preparations for the World Champs.”

Reid, the unfortunate first loser in the hard fought sprint out, was happy with his race and enjoyed the fact that there was such a tight finish.
“It was a great race. I knew it was going to be a bunch race and it was going to be us three at the front,” said Reid, who took some consolation out of his King of the Mountain victory.

“We joked along the course that the guys over the age of 25 were going to have to ask for a pensioners discount,” he added light-heartedly.
The Craft/Trek rider was very happy with the course as well as with the way in which the event helped him in the build-up to World Champs.
“It is a really super course with a lot of flat, fast sections which in a way makes it feel a bit like a road race.

“I am feeling really solid at the moment and am at about 85%. Now it’s just about trying to put the finishing touches in place heading into Worlds.”
The three top riders have established a fierce rivalry and third placed rider Brendon Davids was confident that they would be at the top of the race before the start.
“I knew it would be the three of us – and maybe Andy (Hill) – and with the Worlds coming up we are all coming into form so it was always going to be a tough battle out there.

“It is really promising for the sport that the younger generation is coming through and winning big races,” added the Team Jeep competitor.
Andrew Hill (TIB Insurance) and Neil MacDonald (FedGroup-Itec Connect) rounded out the men’s top five with Hill finishing two minutes off the pace and MacDonald a further three minutes back.

In the women’s race Jeannie Dreyer was the top rider on the day as she cruised to victory in the 60km Illovo Eston Marathon race. Having taken the lead early on, the USN/Hi-Tec star was always aware of the chasing ladies but managed to hold off the chasing pair of Kendall Ryan (Team Jeep) and Bianca Haw (BMC-SA).

“Once I got to the front and got away from Eszter (Erdelyi) I rode with a bit of fear that someone could come past me but I felt pretty good and was hugely relieved to have crossed the line in first place,” said Dreyer.

“I also knew Martin (Dreyer)’s RMB Change A Life Academy guys would be chasing me all the way because they never want to be beaten by a woman, but I would like to think that I spat them out today,” she chuckled.

The United States of America’s Kendall Ryan (Team Jeep) was in charge of the race for the early stage but could not stay with Dreyer’s Dreyer’s wheel as the eventual winner came charging past her and then had to dig deep to overcome a difficult mental lapse.

“It was a really fast start and I had the lead for the first 10 kilometres but when Jeannie caught and dropped me I just couldn’t keep up,” the Team Jeep rider said. “In then blew really badly and Eszter (Erdelyi) went straight past me too before Bianca (Haw) caught me as well.

“Fortunately I was able to pick myself up again then and I stuck with Bianca and between the two of us we managed to work back up to and past Eszter before I managed to just stay ahead of Bianca in the sprint at the end.

The USA World Champs squad hopeful was also full of praise for the race and was very impressed with the course.

“It was an awesome race. Mountain biking here in KZN is just gorgeous and is completely different what I’m used to back in Southern California where all you get is beach then city and then desert!”

Erdelyi (Bergamont-SA), a favourite to claim victory in her age group of the cross country section of the UCI MTB Masters World Championships which precede the elite competition at Cascades at the end of August, ultimately came home to claim a hard fought and energy sapping fourth position, narrowly holding off a charging Ashleigh Moffatt (BMC-SA) who claimed fifth.

The 40km aQuellé Half Marathon saw the rapidly developing Julian Jessop (Team Jeep) claim a comfortable victory in the men’s race whilst Nedene Cahill (Pure Adventure Gear) claimed the women’s title.

Hundreds of local mountain biking fanatics flooded the start line of the 19km aQuellé/Tala Family Ride as they took to Tala Game Reserve’s twisting and scenic trails for their dose of adventure and enjoyment whilst many of the region’s future stars enjoyed the clear skies and sunshine whilst they tackled the 10km Stihl Kids Ride.

More info can be found at www.illovoestonmtb.co.za

SUMMARY OF RESULTSILLOVO ESTON MTB CHALLENGE

1.Rourke Croeser 2:12.32
2.James Reid 2:12.32
3.Brendon Davids 2:12.33
4.Andrew Hill 2:14.07
5.Neil MacDonald 2:18.30
6.Brandon Stewart 2:19.45
7.Luke Roberts 2:19.46
8.Derrin Smith 2:19.51
9.Tyron Bird 2:22.10
10.Craig Stone 2:23.10
11.David Low 2:24.22
12.Lee Penderis 2:25.43
13.Warren Price 2:25.59
14.Leeroy Emslie 2:26.05
15.Evan van der Spuy 2:28.15
16.Tim Stark 2:28.17
17.Alan Hatherly 2:28.48
18.Myles Van 2:29.23
19.Werner Moolman 2:29.26
20.Bryan Powell 2:29.27

Women
1.Jeannie Dreyer 2:37.09
2.Kendall Ryan 2:43.37
3.Bianca Haw 2:43.39
4.Eszter Erdelyi 2:43.56
5.Ashleigh Moffatt 2:47.14
6.Lyn van Breda 2:48.57
7.Hayley Smith 2:49.08
8.Brenda Potts 2:50.33
9.Isabel Moolman 2:57.37
10.Tamryn Taylor 2:58.05

40km aQuellé Half Marathon
Overall
1.Julian Jessop 1:33.33
2.Wayde Finch 1:35.42
3.Matthew Wilkinson 1:37.11

Women
1.Nedene Cahill 1:44.18
2.Tessa Hesse 1:58.47
3.Catherine Pellow-Jarman 1:59.54

10 comment(s)

Carol
Hello
Thank you to all the wonderful people that assisted me with my flat tyre x 2. Terry, Demetrius, Denis and the 3 Musketeers, James, The man’s man, and their Lady counterpart.
Much appreciated laughs were had. Glad I did not have to walk 500 miles. Hope you all finished!

Carol
Hello
Thank you to all the wonderful people that assisted me with my flat tyre x 2. Terry, Demetrius, Denis and the 3 Musketeers, James, The man’s man, and their Lady counterpart.
Much appreciated laughs were had. Glad I did not have to walk 500 miles. Hope you all finished!

tienie
a excilent race !!!
just something that worry me, bad sportsman’s ship that should not be part of mountain biking,.
Two riders try to push me out of the way 3 km from the end, I had a bad fall , helmet in two pieces , front wheel badly damaged.
They did not apologize or asked to help.
Mountain biking is about good sportsmanship and to enjoy.

CHRIS
Nice event. Can see why it is so popular. This was our second year taking part. Only one DISAPPOINTMENT. No recognition for the little ones taking part in the bigger ROAG races lately 18; 25 and 30k. My daughters both ride with me and put in a lot of effort. It is most discouraging when they do not get recognition for coming first in their age group, it takes a lot of literal blood, sweat and tears for them to get to this point of being able to take part in these distances and do well. Pleas help us keep them motivated by giving the Nipper/Sprogs etc recognition - after all they are the future of MTB (ROAG).

The Hobbit
what an amazing ride. My first 40km and I really enjoyed it. Kudos to the guys who prepped the route, the single track was awesome.

The Hobbit
what an amazing ride. My first 40km and I really enjoyed it. Kudos to the guys who prepped the route, the single track was awesome.

Peter Proctor
WOW !!!! what an amazing and well organised event ,, because of illness I had to down grade to 19km ,,, what an awesome route, everything that you would expect from a MTB event.

Thanks to Stu and all the Roag Team and all those who helped make this event one of the best on the MTB Calender.

A special thanks to the sponsors who put so much into keeping events like this going , without them there would be no event .

Thanks again

Peter P

Peter Proctor
WOW !!!! what an amazing and well organised event ,, because of illness I had to down grade to 19km ,,, what an awesome route, everything that you would expect from a MTB event.

Thanks to Stu and all the Roag Team and all those who helped make this event one of the best on the MTB Calender.

A special thanks to the sponsors who put so much into keeping events like this going , without them there would be no event .

Thanks again

Peter P

Rory
Thanks for a great event. The course is certainly one of the easier ones on the calendar but it is a great one for new entrants to the sport to get involved in as it does not discourage them. I had a number of mates who ride with me socially enter this as their first 40km race and they loved it!!!

Brad Fenn
Well oiled machine... from Registration to batches to route markings to Finish.
Thanks for putting on a great event!