2017 Illovo Eston MTB
27 July 2017
Written by: Nick Tatham
Bergstrom eyeing prized Eston scalp
Eston – Experienced campaigner Natalie Bergstrom has targeted the
upcoming Illovo Eston MTB Challenge on Sunday 6 August as a race where
she can make tracks in her pursuit for the overall title in the 2017
Quattro ROAG Series.
The Illovo Eston MTB Challenge is one of the oldest and most prestigious
one day classics in the country and stands alone as a race that many of
the nation’s top riders pen in their year’s racing calendar.
Bergstrom currently leads the ladies ROAG Series standings ahead of
Christie-Leigh Hearder in second and Tarryn Morgan in third.
With the added incentive of ROAG Series points from the Illovo 60km
Marathon, Bergstrom is keen to take on the challenge that she missed
last year due to a rib injury.
“I am still feeling good,” the 44 year-old commented. “It has been a
long season with the SA champs last weekend but my focus is now on the
ROAG Series with three races left.
“My aim is to try and win the series overall because I have been on the
podium since the first series in 2012 and with only a few races to go
the series is still wide open.
“I have won my age category but I am hoping to take the overall ladies
Despite the appeal to the finest mountain bikers, Eston will not see the
defending ladies champion back in 2017, however Bergstrom believes it
will a tough field to contend against with some strong local riders set
to grace the start line with their presence.
“Cherie Redeker has moved overseas permanently which is a pity as she
won the race last year but I think the field will be very similar to the
one we saw at Karkloof with maybe a few surprises.
“I want to go into the race the same way that I approach all races –
with an open mind and go out as hard as I can to try and get a win under
“I’m just going to give it stick like I always do!” Bergstrom added.
Having missed the 2016 edition of the race through injury, Bergstrom is
an experienced enough rider to know what to expect from the track and
believes that she will be well prepared for the race in just over a
“I don’t think that the course would have changed too much and I have
done most of the Eston’s in the past so I don’t think there will be any
surprises for me.
“There is always the possibility of a mechanical but I am going to be as
ready as I possibly can.
“There is going to be some pressure but I love the pressure which makes
me even more excited for the event.
“I am going to go out and do what I have been doing for many years and
hopefully I can get the result that I want,” a positive Bergstrom
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
The experienced Natalie
Bergstrom will be looking to mix it up with the country's elite riders
at the Illovo Eston MTB Challenge on Sunday, 6 August.
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