Andrew Hill retained his lead as the current overall leader in the men’s category for the ROAG Series after placing second at Saturday’s aQuellé Tour de Krantz race. Still holding tight to her position as current overall leader in the women’s category is Natalie Bergstrom.
Racing up front was fast paced with Hill and Brandon Stewart making a move to stretch the bunch after a sedate 6km brought a big group back together after the initial flurry of excitement at the start.
The two raced to a commanding lead with Stewart attacking after 13km to take the win by a minute and a half from Hill after 45km of racing. This pushes Hill into a position of strength with two races to go in the competitive ROAG Series.
Said Hill: “The pace and track suited my abilities and I tried to hold Brandon's wheel as long as I could, he is such a strong rider and it’s always great to get into a break away with him."
Hill’s efforts paid off and he accrued additional points to add to his Series lead over Carl Calverley.
Andrew Hill, current ROAG Series leader in the overall men's category
"Carl was unfortunately sick today, he was 14 points behind me in the Series going into this race - but that's mountain biking and it's a funny game and anything can happen. So I'm sticking to my game and hoping for extra luck until the Series is over" Hill said.
"Hill 2 Hill is the next instalment of the Series and is going to be a fast paced tough 100km race for us, but after SA marathon champs this next week I’m hoping for a good result come September 15th,” the Hillcrest resident said.
Saturday was the 13th year of the scenic but tough aQuellé Tour de Krantz. The event is a firm favorite on the KZN Midlands mountain biking calendar with over 900 riders making the trip out to Harburg.
The event is organised by the members of the Harburg Lutheran Church as part of their annual church bazaar, and offers riders an MTB event that is part of a larger celebration of country life.
“Professional assistance in the form of ROAG and Impi Concept Events, together with a group of committed MTB cyclists in the congregation ensure that a top class event is staged every year, said Marie du Toit, a member of the organising committee.
The Stewart family was well represented with Bridgette coming in second to Nedene Cahill with Natalie Bergstrom in third in the 45km women’s race.
The aQuellé Tour de Krantz was the seventh event in the ROAG series and all categories were hotly contested as riders seek to consolidate their positions as the Series reaches its climax.
The men’s 25km race saw a sprint for the line narrowly taken by Bradley Stevens by one second over Reinhard Zellhuber with Njabulo Nsikayeswe a further half minute back. The ladies 25km event was won by Catherine Pellow-Jarman racing in the youth category with Anita de Waal in second and local lass Sabine Thies in third, racing in the nipper category. The victors in the 10km race were Michael Gevers and Michelle Meyer, both only 10 years old.