Illovo Eston MTB
Written By: Dave Macleod
Elusive Eston title still motivating Hill
Eston - One of the perennial pacesetters of the KwaZulu-Natal mountain
bike elite racing scene Andrew Hill, will set his sights on the elusive
Illovo Eston MTB Challenge title this weekend, a title that somehow has
eluded him over the years.
Hill has won almost every elite race on the local calendar, and comes
into the race after a solid season that includes a good win at the
recent Sappi Scottburgh MTB Race and some strong stage race finishes.
Lady luck dealt the on-form TIB Insurance rider a card from the bottom
of the pack at last year’s Illovo Eston race, as Hill was right in the
mix with Jessop and eventual winner Stuart Marais.
The front pack took an accidental detour off the marked race route, and
they all doubled back together when they realised their mistake, only
for Hill to fall off the front bunch when he picked up a puncture while
returning to the race route.
Despite coming up against younger riders, Hill continues to fight it out
with the best and to add the Eston MTB Challenge to his impressive lists
of achievement is a goal of his.
“It is a big race. It has always been a big race” said Hill. “Stuart
Marais will be wanting to win that again and Julian (Jessop) will be
hard to beat as well.
“It is longer than a usual weekend race at sixty kilometres, which
actually plays into the hands of myself and the other marathon riders.
“If the cross country riders can just hang on, and have the punch to
hurt us at the end, it will be interesting,” he said.
Hill pointed out that the 60km layout was a mix of terrain, which made
race strategy very important.
“There are flat sections that suit the power riders, and then you have
some big climbs. The you are into forest and plantations and track
through the gumtrees, so there is a bit of everything,” said Hill.
“If I can finally walk away with a win there it will be unbelievable,”
Despite winning in Scottburgh, Hill is out of the running for the
Quattro ROAG Series as he will not have raced in enough races throughout
the year. However Julian Jessop is leading the series and has the chance
to extend his lead this weekend which could make the title challenge
even more difficult for Hill.
More information can be found at
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Illovo Eston MTB Challenge
Logo - JPEG
Following an unfortunate
puncture at the 2017 edition, TIB Insurance's Andrew Hill will hope he
has more luck at the 2018 Illovo Eston MTB Challenge this weekend as he
hunts down a first win at the prestigious event.
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