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TeamTIB: illovo Eston 65km

The illovo Eston has become some what of a legendary race in the KZN region attracting well over 3000 participants to the Eston Farmers club on a Sunday morning. The timing is just after the winter doldrums and you find people will come out of the cold to enjoy the sun and clear weather usually experienced. The extra motivation has some rewards as the routes traverse the tala game reserve and the insingisi nature reserve before doubling back to the Eston Farmers club.

The KOM comes in early in the race and knowing the pace would be high between the two XCO riders i sat on the back of the group and kept the pace as Julian and Stuart slowed down to catch their breath.

Game Plan Media writes:
After the King of the Mountain climb the pair was joined by Andrew Hill (TIB Insurance) and they worked together for most of the race, until the leading trio inadvertently took a wrong turn, with about 6 kilometres to go.

"It was at a rough river crossing and I think we all went on last year's route instead of following the markers," said Hill. "When we realised the mistake, we all turned back together. Luckily no-one else had gone through ahead of us."

Hill, the winner of the recent Imana Wild Ride, suffered the most from the unplanned detour, as he punctured and fell off the front bunch.

The puncture arrived at just he wrong time as we were just about to hit the fast flattish section of the race before the finish line. I knew I wouldn't be able to bridge the gap with two of them riding hard to try and dislodge the other. This resulted in me finishing 1 minute off the sprint for 1st.
 
Overall Results
60km Illovo Eston MTB Marathon
1.Stuart Marais 2:30:46
2.Julian Jessop 2:30:54
3.Andrew Hill 2:32:04

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