Quattro ROAG Series heat on at opening race

Many of KwaZulu-Natal’s top local mountain biking talent will be in action this weekend when they tackle Saturday’s Illovo Wartburg Classic, the opening leg of the 2015 edition of the prestigious Quattro ROAG Series.
The Wartburg clash sees the series welcome back a number of its top 2014 performers such as triple defending champion Andrew Hill (TIB Insurance), while Tyronne White (Thule), John Ntuli (RMB Change a Life) and 2014 Junior Girls Champion Frankie du Toit (Time Freight) have too thrown their names into the hat ahead of the much anticipated series opener this Saturday 28 February.

With a hat-trick of Quattro ROAG Series titles to his name, TIB Insurances Andrew Hill will be back to begin the defence of his title at the 2015 Illovo Wartburg Classic on Saturday, 28 February. // Photo: Supplied/ Gameplan Media.

Hill, who has had a busy build-up to the start of the Quattro ROAG Series, will be hoping that he can get himself off to the best possible start in 2015, despite appreciating he will have his work cut out for him with a stiff field expected this weekend.

“No matter where you race in KZN there will be a good field,” the TIB Insurance rider said. “There is so much depth in mountain biking in the province that I expect a lot of good riders to have an eye on this weekend’s Wartburg Classic and it is a credit to ROAG that through the ROAG Series, they are able to get top riders out to take part in all of their events.”

The year started in earnest for Hill who was overseas competing in the Middle East and then headed home to take part in a few more races before heading into the major part of his preparation for the Old Mutual joburg2c.

“I raced in a stage race in Oman recently but managed to get hurt during the race so came home and had to take some time off. I am coming off the injury now though and I’ve raced in a few races locally as I start building up.

Having claimed a number of national and continental road titles during the early part of the year, Time Freight's Frankie du Toit will look to start her MTB season and defence of the Junior Girls title at the 2015 Quattro ROAG Series off on a good note at the Illovo Wartburg Classic on Saturday, 28 February. // Photo: Supplied/ Gameplan Media.
“The preparation has been good so far and it is a long season ahead for me with a lot of focus going towards the joburg2c this year so I am looking forward to this weekend!” a focused Hill mentioned.

The defending Quattro ROAG Series Champion missed out on the Wartburg leg of the 2014 series but rode the track in 2013 and has some fond memories of the race which resulted in a win for him.

“In 2013 the course was a really good one and I enjoyed it a lot so I am sure that it will be just as fun this year and the race being a 65km marathon is something that will suit me more.

“A lot of the younger guys are more cross country orientated so for a guy like me who concentrates more on my marathon and ultra-marathon racing, the longer distance is definitely going to be a slight advantage.

“Everyone’s so strong though so it is going to be tough either way!” a wary Hill added.

The Quattro ROAG Series has been an important part of Hill’s season in the past few years and he explains that ROAG have been greatly influential in growing the sport throughout the province and hopes that they will be able to make the sport more popular through their series.

“The quality of the fields that are at each event are a testament to ROAG and the quality of the races that are put on throughout the series and you know that no matter where you go the racing is going to be tough!

“ROAG has given riders around the province really good exposure for a long time and the series is something that I try and make part of my season every year.

“With three titles to my name I think that my name is entrenched in the series which is a huge privilege and hopefully I can continue to do well in the series’ events again this year” Hill explained gratefully.

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.