Bergstrom eyeing prized Eston scalp

On 27 July 2017 by admin

Written by: Nick Tatham

Eston – Experienced campaigner Natalie Bergstrom has targeted the upcoming Illovo Eston MTB Challenge on Sunday 6 August as a race where she can make tracks in her pursuit for the overall title in the 2017 Quattro ROAG Series.

The Illovo Eston MTB Challenge is one of the oldest and most prestigious one day classics in the country and stands alone as a race that many of the nation’s top riders pen in their year’s racing calendar.

With the added incentive of ROAG Series points from the Illovo 60km Marathon, Bergstrom is keen to take on the challenge that she missed last year due to a rib injury.

“I am still feeling good,” the 44 year-old commented. “It has been a long season with the SA champs last weekend but my focus is now on the ROAG Series with three races left.

“My aim is to try and win the series overall because I have been on the podium since the first series in 2012 and with only a few races to go the series is still wide open.

“I have won my age category but I am hoping to take the overall ladies title.”

Despite the appeal to the finest mountain bikers, Eston will not see the defending ladies champion back in 2017, however Bergstrom believes it will a tough field to contend against with some strong local riders set to grace the start line with their presence.

“Cherie Redeker has moved overseas permanently which is a pity as she won the race last year but I think the field will be very similar to the one we saw at Karkloof with maybe a few surprises.

“I want to go into the race the same way that I approach all races – with an open mind and go out as hard as I can to try and get a win under my belt.

“I’m just going to give it stick like I always do!” Bergstrom added.

Having missed the 2016 edition of the race through injury, Bergstrom is an experienced enough rider to know what to expect from the track and believes that she will be well prepared for the race in just over a week’s time.

“I don’t think that the course would have changed too much and I have done most of the Eston’s in the past so I don’t think there will be any surprises for me.

“There is always the possibility of a mechanical but I am going to be as ready as I possibly can.

“There is going to be some pressure but I love the pressure which makes me even more excited for the event.

“I am going to go out and do what I have been doing for many years and hopefully I can get the result that I want,” a positive Bergstrom mentioned.

Bergstrom currently leads the ladies ROAG Series standings ahead of Christie-Leigh Hearder in second and Tarryn Morgan in third.

The 2017 Illovo Eston MTB Challenge provides runners and riders with a wide selection of events to take part in. From a mountain biking side there is the Illovo 60km Marathon, the 40km aQuellé Half Marathon, the STIHL Tala Family Ride and the Omnia Kids Ride.

From a trail running perspective the events offers an 18km and 9km run.