Backworth Stud played host to a section of one of South Africa’s most prestigious single day Mountain Bike events this past weekend, the Illovo Eston MTB Challenge, as some 3,500 competitors pedalled their way through the farm’s Yellowwood avenues.
Great course designers never rest on their laurels and whilst last year’s event was phenominal, this year offered brand new challenging 60km and 40km routes!
The feature race of the day, the Illovo 60km Marathon, was divided into 20km of “work” with a solid climb up to Insingizi, 20km of “play” where the riders experienced every type of single and jeep track imaginable and 20km of “hauling” along the fast cane roads that led them home to the historic Eston Country Club. A perfectly balanced route!
The Backworth Team were on hand to dispense ‘water and oranges’; offering many parched thoroughbreds of the two legged kind, some respite from the hot and dry conditions… as well as from their aching legs.
At the business end though, it was Kargo Pro MTB Team’s Rourke Croeser who narrowly edged out Trek South Africa’s Brendon Davids and FedGroup ITEC’s Max Knox to claim the men’s honours. In the ladies’ race, it was Hi-TEC’s Jeannie Dreyer who overcame the tough conditions and a debilitating stomach bug to retain her women’s title when crossing the line 10 minutes ahead of Coffeeberry/VELOlife’s Natalie Bergstrom ;in second and Time Freight VELOlife’s junior rider Frankie du Toit in third.
|1||Rourke Croeser||2:24:01||Jeannie Dreyer||2:51.02|
|2||Brendon Davids||2:24.03||Natalie Bergstrom||3:01.30|
|3||Max Knox||2:24.17||Frankie du Toit||3:05.22|
|4||Andrew Hill||2:28.39||Desiree Verwey||3:07.36|
|5||Travis Walker||2:30.03||Isabel Moolman||3:10.13|
Backworth Stud wishes to extend a hearty congratulations to the event organisers, the sponsors, the competitors and the fans!