Eston – With entries for the 2014 Illovo Eston MTB Challenge drawing near, a large Kargo Pro MTB Team contingent has confirmed their entry and it’s all about a team victory rather than a win for team ace and race defending champ Rourke Croeser at this year’s edition of one of South Africa’s premier one day events on Sunday 3 August.
Croeser, the recently crowned South African National Cross Country MTB Champion, may be the regular team ace who leads the pack however the XCO star believes a victory for the team – regardless of whether its himself or not who clinches the win – is the goal for this year’s Illovo Eston.
“Eston is a great race and one which I thoroughly enjoy going to year after year,” said Croeser. “It’s a pretty big event on the KZN calendar and victory there would be really, really nice but more from a team point of view than necessarily for me personally.”
“I’m really focused on racing cross country at the moment and with the French leg of the World Cup coming up at the end of August and World Champs in Norway straight after that, those are my main priorities at the moment.
“It’s not just about me and me trying to get the win, the whole Kargo Pro MTB team will be at Eston and we’ll play it by ear on the day and see whose feeling the strongest out of us and then work together as best we can to try ensure one of us – whether it’s myself, Travis (Walker) or Stuart (Marais) – is in the best possible position to get the win for the team!” he added.
Croeser is also all too aware of the importance of South Africa’s only UCI Trade Team’s presence at big events such as the Illovo Eston MTB Challenge and spending time with the local members of the mountain biking community.
“I love racing the local marathon circuit when I get the chance and Eston will also be another great opportunity for the whole Kargo team to spend some time with and give back to the same people who are so supportive of us week in and week out,” said Croeser.
While Ant Foster and his organizing committee have looked to shake things up with the route for both the 60km Illovo Eston Marathon and the 40km aQuellé Half Marathon this year, Croeser is still confident the event will produce yet another memorable course.
“Previously it has been one of the better routes around and even with the changes, I’m sure this year will be no different.
“The King of the Mountain prize is up for grabs quite early on and always helps split the race up straight away and plays a big role in how the race unfolds from there.
“Brendon (Davids) is always good on this route and will definitely be one to watch out for again this year but Travis, Stuart and I working together will definitely make things a little easier for us and hopefully we can use that to our advantage to get the win for Kargo,” said Croeser.
Normal entries for the 2014 Illovo Eston MTB Challenge close at midnight on Sunday 27 July and late entries at midnight on Wednesday 30 July. Entries can be submitted via www.roag.co.za or at Eston Club on the day.
The Illovo Eston MTB Challenge’s 60km Illovo Eston Marathon, 40km aQuellé Half Marathon, 18km Tala/aQuellé Family Ride and the 10km STIHL Kids Ride take place at the Eston Club on Sunday 3 August. More info can be found at www.illovoestonmtb.co.za
Source: Gameplan Media