Durban – The whirlwind 2015 edition of the popular Quattro ROAG Series concludes this weekend with the exciting Lake Eland Quattro Classic powered by the Burry Stander Foundation that takes riders through the majestic Lake Eland nature reserve and with the series’ titles all but wrapped up, riders will have the opportunity to enjoy the scenery on Sunday, 4 October.
The recent Sunday Tribune Jeep Hill2Hill providing TIB Insurance’s Andrew Hill with those vital few points he needed to secure him his fourth Quattro ROAG Series title in a row, the 100km race also gave women’s series defending champion Jeannie Dreyer (USN/Hi-Tec) the opportunity to all but wrap up the ladies series with just the South Coast showdown to go.
Hill, who has just come back from a tough block of training in the Drakensberg with his sights set on a difficult period of stage racing in the coming weeks, will be present on the start line at this weekend’s Lake Eland Classic and despite the pressure is slightly lifted, the series victor will look to use the race as vital preparation for the following weeks’ racing.
“It has been a hectic last week of training for me,” Hill mentioned. “I’ve got a lot of stage racing coming up with Berg&Bush next week and then I’m off to Cape Pioneer so a lot of training has been geared towards that.
“I will however be at Lake Eland because it is a great race that I missed last year and one I didn’t want to miss out on again!
“With some big stage races coming up, this weekend will be great in my preparation as it forces the body to ride on tired legs and simulates a day of a stage race.”
With his fourth title sewn up Hill will still be in race mode when the starter’s gun fires this Sunday however, with the added pressure of not having to win on his shoulders, he feels that he has the opportunity to be a little more relaxed than in previous affairs.
“The pressure is off however I will race positively on Sunday while also being able to take in a bit of the scenery,” he chuckled. “It is one of my favourite races and the scenery is stunning, which just adds to the whole experience.”
Reflecting on his fourth Quattro ROAG Series win, Hill was quick to point out that all of the races add to the uniqueness of the series and although there are varying degrees of popularity, they all add their own flavour to the series.
“I see the Sunday Tribune Jeep Hill2Hill as the biggest race of the season with the Sappi Karkloof MTB Challenge being another big one but each and every race makes the series special.
“You go to the smaller races and the organisers and locals look after you really well, which is something that I appreciate.
“They create a great enjoyment factor and the people that are involved put in so much to the smaller races which makes them special,” Hill added.
The challenge for Andrew Hill at the Lake Eland will come, mainly, in the form of training partner Tyronne White.
The Team Thule rider had been snapping at the heels of Hill for a lot of the series and with the apparent absence of Brendon Davids (Kargo pro MTB Team), White looks set to sew up second spot with a result on Sunday.
The women’s series is not quite cut and dry however with the absence of Natalie Bergstrom from this weekend’s entry list, the 2015 Quattro ROAG Series title is likely to once again go to Dreyer for a third year running after claiming wins in all of her five races that she has taken part in during the 2015 series.
Isabel Moolman is another lady that will be on the start line this weekend and if she can finish on the women’s podium she will go past Bergstrom into second place on the overall standings.
The 2015 Quattro ROAG Series is a nine leg series that sees all of KZN’s top mountain bikers doing battle for the coveted title and the winner’s cheque of R22 000 for both the male and female overall winners. More information can be found at www.roagseries.co.za