Illovo Eston MTB Challenge Media Release

No: eston1902

09 July 2019

Embargo: None

      Written By: Nick Tatham

SA Champs & Eston MTB next up for Marais

Eston – As the mountain biking season builds up to the South African Cross Country Championships next weekend and beyond to the UCI XCO World Championships, national selection hopeful Stuart Marais has singled out the Illovo Eston MTB Challenge as an important part of his next month’s racing.

The iconic event, now into its 17th year, will take place on Sunday, 4 August and often attracts the cream of the mountain biking crop. Defending champion Marais is expecting there to be another strong field this year for the 60km Illovo Eston Marathon.

“The usual suspects should be there like Andrew (Hill), Tyronne (White) and Julian (Jessop),” the Expedient Africa rider said.

“The race has become one of those iconic races that you have to do and along with the Sappi Karkloof Classic is one of the top one day races that you can race.

“There is a prestige that comes with winning Eston and that is what draws riders to the event.

“I remember a few years ago arriving on the start line and the who’s-who of South African mountain biking was on the start-line. It’s one of those races that you never quite know who will be there on the day!”

It’s going to be a busy few weeks for Marias as he comes off a bout of illness ahead of the national showdown in Gauteng next weekend.

“I raced the KZN XCO Champs last week and came third. That was after a bit of a rest period for me but I am looking forward to the national championships.

“It’s always tough to take a break in the middle of the season but the fatigue levels were high so I needed to take some time off.

“You need to make a few sacrifices in order to make sure that you are in the best shape for the big events,” he stressed.

Marais will be hoping for one of the spots in the South African team that will do battle at the UCI Cross Country World Championships in Canada at the end of August into September.

Should he make the side, or not, Eston is going to form an important part of the remainder of his racing year.

“I would love to get a hat-trick of wins at Eston,” Marais commented.

“It is a race that I love and I will not miss it because of the quality of the field and the race takes us through an amazing part of the world.

“The race is so well organised and the community really get involved in making it a great day for everyone,” Marais added.

The Illovo Eston MTB Challenge will be the eigth leg of the popular and ever competitive Quattro ROAG Series, powered by Momentum.

More information can be found at


Sunday, 4 August 2019
Venue: Eston Farmers Club, KZN
Start Times, Distances & Entry Fees:
06h30 - 18km Trail Run (Pre-entry - R140, Late entry - R160)
06h45 - 9km Trail Run (Pre-entry - R100, Late entry - R120)
08h30 - 60km Illovo Eston Marathon (Pre-entry - R220, Late entry - R250)
09h00 - 40km aQuellé Eston Half Marathon (Pre-entry - R180, Late entry - R210)
09h30 - 18km STIHL Tala Family Ride (Pre-entry - R140, Late entry - R160)
10h00 - 10km Omnia Kids Ride (Pre-entry - R70, Late entry - R80)


Enter via ROAG ( Pre-entries are open and will be accepted until 28 July 2019.

Late entries will be accepted online from 29 July to 1 August until 24h00 or at the venue on the day.

Each race is limited to 800 riders so make sure that you get that entry in ASAP!

At Eston Farmers' Club on Sunday, 4 August from 05h30-09h30.

Race garments will be available to the first 1000 people that pre-enter. Please note that late entries will not receive a race garment.


Photo Caption Photographer
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Illovo Eston MTB Challenge Logo - JPEG  

Local mountain biking talent Stuart Marais (Expedient Africa) will be back at the 2019 Illovo Eston MTB Challenge, trying to make it a hat-trick of wins at the Illovo Eston 60km Marathon on Sunday, 4 August. Anthony Grote/
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