2017 Illovo Eston MTB
19 July 2017
Written by: Nick Tatham
Hill to head up local charge at Eston MTB
Eston – As the popular Illovo Eston MTB Challenge draws near, mountain
biking stars the nation over will be eyeing the prestigious title,
including Hillcrest-based star Andrew Hill who is prioritising the event
that takes place on Sunday, 6 August.
The Eston Country Club will play host to a number of different events on
race Sunday with the Illovo 60km Marathon being the feature event and
the country’s finest will be eyeing a shot at claiming the title at one
of the most prestigious one day events nationwide.
Team TIB’s Hill has never won the Eston MTB Challenge and having taken a
bit of a break from racing is heading into a busy phase of competition
and will be eyeing a strong performance come 4 August.
“I always see Eston as the first race of the second part of my year,”
Hill said from his holiday home on the Wild Coast.
“I have the Imana Wild Ride coming up and then I am back for Eston. It
is kind of the beginning of spring racing for me and it is a race that I
love being a part of.
“It has been around for ages and there is so much prestige attached to
winning the Eston title that it attracts the best in South Africa and as
a professional you always want to test yourself against the best.
“To get into the top five at Eston is always an achievement which just
shows you the calibre of rider that takes part.”
Hill was in fine form in the first part of the year with a strong
display from him and partner Julian Jessop at the KAP sani2c where they
finished fifth overall after three gruelling stages of racing.
Building towards the end of the year is the aim for Hill and Eston is
always an important part of his second half of the year’s racing.
“I am down the Wild Coast just building on my endurance work at the
moment and I hope that Eston will be a good way to get back into the one
day classics when I am back from the Wild Coast.
“I would say that Eston is definitely more of a classic marathon race
with one big climb that might stretch the field a bit and then some
really good track on the Zingizi Trails where the break normally comes.
“A fast finish too is always on the cards which makes for an exciting
end to the race at the Eston Club,” Hill continued.
It can be difficult for event organisers and trail builders to
continually reinvent themselves year after year to keep the route
exciting and fresh for all, however Hill feels that the event always
delivers from all aspects.
“The guys put in so much effort into the trails and you can see it when
you are out there which means a lot to us.
“They keep on upping their game every year and that is why this event
continues to remain on the of the best one day races around.
“Eston always attracts the top KZN riders as well as some of the best in
the country which again just proves that it is a top event,” Hill added.
The 2017 Illovo Eston MTB Challenge provides runners and riders with a
wide selection of events to take part in. From a mountain biking side
there is the Illovo 60km Marathon, the 40km aQuellé Half Marathon, the
STIHL Tala Family Ride and the Omnia Kids Ride.
From a trail running perspective the events offers an 18km and 9km run.
More information can be found at
Click to download the hi-res
Illovo Eston MTB Challenge
Logo - GIF
Team TIB's Andrew Hill (front)
has tamed many trails around KwaZulu-Natal but has never won the Illovo
Eston MTB Challenge, and he is hoping to change that when the event
takes place on Sunday, 6 August.
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