2017 Illovo Eston MTB Challenge Media Release

 No: eston1703

21 July 2017

Written by: Nick Tatham

Eston continues to set the MTB benchmark

Eston – With a history of being one the of the country’s stand-out one day events, mountain bike riders heading for the Illovo Eston MTB Challenge on Sunday, 6 August can expect some bold changes designed to enhance and improve the popular events well-established reputation.

The Eston Farmers Club will be a hive of activity once again when the country’s top mountain bikers as well as your social rider and runner line up for one of the many events that are on offer over the first weekend of August.

With 13 years of hosting the event under their belt, event organisers and chairman of the organising committee Ant Foster feels that through experience they have been able to get to the heart of what mountain bikers want.

“The fact that the event has continued to attract both top athletes as well as the weekend warriors for all these years, is testament to the hard work that the community and sponsors unselfishly offer,” Foster commented.

“We prioritize a slick, current and exciting event, being trendsetters and at the end of the day, just offering some really cool tracks. After all, that is the reason why we ride bikes!

"We are MTB'ers ourselves, so first and foremost we make track so that we can experience great rides on, on a daily basis.

"The fact that we get to share these tracks with top athletes as well as spirited weekend warriors on a yearly basis, gives us great satisfaction.”

The 60km Illovo Marathon will remain largely unchanged this year with a few tweaks to some of the single track, but the 40km aQuellé Half Marathon is going to see one exciting change that Foster believes will be welcomed by the riders.

“The 40km aQuellé Half Marathon will split from the 60km Marathon earlier this year and will give riders the chance to experience a great new piece of cattle track that takes them along the edge of some spectacular cliffs.

“The waterfall is flowing strongly this year so riders will have a great time experiencing riding under it again this year

“We know that riders love the single track mecca that is Nsingizi and adjacent properties on the 60km route. On the 40km course riding behind a waterfall is a hit as well as the great scenery.

“Both rides are also known as being fast and ridable 100% of the way for all riders, no portaging required.” he added.

One of the star attractions of the Illovo Eston MTB Challenge is the STIHL Tala 20km Family Ride and 2017 has seen some new alterations to the route to give riders the best opportunity of enjoying a day riding through the Tala Private Game Reserve.

“Firstly, the dreaded first hill out of the club has been removed, as cyclists make their way directly to the Tala gate under the tar road.

“Inside the Tala Reserve, the route has completely changed, and riders of all abilities will experience amazing wildlife sightings.

“The 9/18km trail run is a new addition and follows the Tala MTB track through the reserve. It is a seriously enjoyable run, and we are very excited to be offering this to our event supporters.”

Tala Private Game Reserve have become a vital member of the Illovo Eston MTB Challenge team and the 20km Family Ride is one of the signature events of the day’s racing and Foster appreciates their support of the event.

“We feel the relationship that has stemmed through the involvement of Tala has been a greatly mutual one, with our riders being able to experience a true wildlife experience, and Tala gaining valuable exposure for potential future clients.

“We value their continued participation.”

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 www.illovoestonmtb.co.za

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There have been some large improvements on the STIHL Tala 20km Family Ride route for this year's Illovo Eston MTB Challenge on Sunday, 6 August. Anthony Grote/
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Riders of the 40km aQuellé Half Marathon will have the pleasure of riding along trail that takes you underneath a waterfall at the 2017 Illovo Eston MTB Challenge on Sunday, 6 August. Supplied/
Gameplan Media

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