2017 Illovo Eston MTB Challenge Media Release

 No: eston1704

25 July 2017

Written by: Nick Tatham

Keep keen to show her worth at Eston MTB Challenge

Eston – She has dominated the junior ranks of mountain biking for a number of years, however young Tiffany Keep sees the upcoming Illovo Eston MTB Challenge as the opportunity to show the rest of the mountain biking fraternity that she has the ability to compete with the top elite female riders on Sunday, 6 August.

The 17 year-old star, who just came off a Under 18 Girls South African Cross Country age category win in Mankele this past weekend, has featured in the top three at the last two Eston MTB Challenges which included a note-worthy second place finish in her first 60km marathon in 2015.

“I will always remember Eston fondly because it was my first ever 60km marathon so I have some great memories there,” the IsostarZA/Adidas Sport Eyewear star commented.

“It is such a great race that I have always enjoyed for a number of reasons but mainly because I think that the single track is great and the competition is always top class, making for a tough day of racing.

“I have finished second and third in the last two years so I have great memories of the race.”

The Thomas More College student, who is also a member of the Elite Athlete Development Programme based at the Prime HPI, has been in dominant form recently and capped that off with a strong performance at the SA XCO Champs last weekend.

Her national championship win all but guarantees her a spot on the national team for the UCI MTB World Championships in Cairns, Australia in September.

“The World Championships has definitely been the biggest focus for me this year.

“That is what I have been building up for this season but races like Eston will be good preparation for me because of its cross country-type feel.

“Eston definitely does play into the hands of cross country riders because there aren’t any long climbs and the flats allow you to put down some good power.

“The one unique thing about Eston is the Queen and King of the Mountain prize that offers extra points and an added incentive,” Keep added.

With past ladies winners like Jeannie Dreyer and Cross Country ace Cherie Redecker, Keep will have to fight it out with the country’s top mountain biking stars for a spot on the top step of the podium, however her sights are set on repeating a podium finish.

“It is great for me to race against more experienced riders and to learn from them through competition.

“The intensity is so different when you ride against stronger riders and I still have so much to learn.

“A lot of the ladies are stronger than me which is always a challenge so if I can get on the podium at Eston I will be really happy,” Keep mentioned.

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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Tiffany Keep has been on the podium for the past two Illovo Eston MTB Challenges, but the 17 year old is hoping that she can recreate that form when the popular one day classic comes around on Sunday, 6 August. Anthony Grote/
Gameplan Media

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