Last year’s winner of the aQuellé Tour de Krantz clash is desperately trying to get his season back on track after a disappointing string of results on the cross country circuit and is determined to do what he can in Harburg this weekend to keep his Quattro ROAG Series title hopes alive.
“Tour de Krantz is probably the best 45km Classic in the country and it will be great to go back and try get a second win in a row!” explained Kargo Pro MTB Team’s Davids. “I’ve been in some really good form recently so hopefully I can go there on Saturday and put in a good performance.”
While back-to-back Tour de Krantz victories may well be within the Kargo Pro MTB Team rider’s range, challenging for the overall series title is a little more of a mathematical than realistic chance for Davids.
Triple Quattro ROAG Series winner Andrew Hill (TIB Insurance) currently tops the 2015 standings on 422 points while Davids – having only competed in three of the series six races thus far – occupies tenth position ahead of this weekend’s racing.
Victory in this weekend’s Tour de Krantz, the hotly contested 100km Sunday Tribune Jeep Hill2Hill and the Lake Eland Quattro Classic – each carrying a winner’s purse of 100 series points – would see Davids finish on 489 points overall, just 68 points more than Hill’s current total after his five outings.
With 86 and 74 points for second and third place respectively and riders’ best six results counting towards their final points tally, a podium finish for Hill this weekend will effectively ensure the series’ defending champ will overcome Davids title challenge.
Much can happen in mountain biking though, as both Hill and Davids will know all too well, leaving plenty still to race for.
“You go to race but anything can happen; you see it week in and week out!” said Davids.
“It happened to me at Eston; one second I was leading and the next I was stopped on the side of the track with a puncture and out of the top ten!”
“At this stage I’m just focusing on my race; I’ll look to give it stick on Saturday and then see how things pan out from there as far as the ROAG Series goes.”
While Davids and Hill will be keeping a keen eye on one another, Team Thule’s Tyronne White is another likely to draw some of their attention.
White, who currently occupies second place on the Quattro ROAG Series log, some 125 points adrift of Hill, is another keen to secure a solid result this weekend as he continues his return from injury.
Sadly, injury is a trend that continues into the women’s Quattro ROAG Series mix as well with current log leader Natalie Bergstrom (Jowett’s Cycles) still fighting her way back to full fitness after a devastating shoulder injury.
Having just returned home from setting a new woman’s course record at the 900km Colorado Trail Race in the USA, Tour de Krantz double defending champ Jeannie Dreyer has confirmed her attendance together with recently crowned Under-23 woman’s national cross country champion Hayley Smith (Specialized SA/Bell Equipment).
“Tour de Krantz will be a lot shorter and a lot faster than what I’ve just done,” said USN/Hi-Tec’s Dreyer. “While it obviously would be nice to win three in a row, that won’t be the focus for me.”
“I haven’t ridden much since getting back from Colorado so I’m just looking forward to getting back on the bike and having a jol out there!
“It is such a scenic and beautiful route and a lovely, hilly course that suits me so it should be a lot of fun!” she added.
The 2015 aQuellé Tour de Krantz offers riders the choice of a 45, 25 or 10km adventure with participants set to experience the new and exciting race routes for the first time on Saturday 22 August.
The event also incorporates the ever-popular Hamburg Fest with the day’s programme including a farmer’s market, live oompah brass band and beer tent for the adults while the kiddies fun race and kids play area – offering face painting, balloons, a jumping castle and jungle gym – promises a great day out for the whole family.
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.