Underberg – Having won four of the last five editions of the Euro Steel Drak Descent in partnership with FNB, MTB ace Andrew Hill has confirmed his entry for the 2021 race on 30 and 31 January, pencilling it in as the ideal kick-start to his competitive year.
The 38 year-old TIB Insurance racer has made a habit of racing the race as a solo entrant, racing against many strong teams on his way to his four wins.
“It is the first big race of the season, and it is hard to get a partner to race at the same level as you are going because everyone is coming out of their base training phase at different levels,” he said.
“All the elite riders will have done their prep and ridden hard during the holidays, and there is always this real buzz of excitement at the start because everyone is back racing after a long break, and it is good to see how everyone is going,” he pointed out.
“It is a great event because the vibe is so good and chilled, while the standard is really high.
“It is unique because there are two distinct days of racing. Day One is more technical and rocky as you ride along the river, but still very accessible for the average riders. Then Day Two is flatter and faster, which is fun,” said Hill.
“What makes it appealing is the fact that any rider unsure of their skills can just hop off the bike and walk a technical section, and enjoy the amazing scenery of the Berg while they do that!” the Hillcrest-based rider said.
Hill said the race was well placed at it started an intense block of racing for the serious riders that culminate in the Absa Cape Epic and KAP sani2c stage races.
“Not only is it great fun but for the elites it is important early season racing, so it ties into the racing calendar really nicely,” he said.
Hill has confirmed another solo entry as he bids to become the first person to win five Euro Steel Drak Descent titles as the ideal way to start what he hopes will be a full return to normal competition after a year truncated by the COVID-19 lockdown.