ROAG Series running toward a thrilling finish

On 28 November 2019 by admin

By: Tim Whitfield

The trail running portion of the lucrative Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum is building to a thrilling climax with four athletes still in with a realistic chance of overall victory, all of which makes Sunday’s Illovo Eston events crucial to the final outcome,

Tyronne White has ensured he will claim the R25 000 first prize for the men’s mountain bike series with three events still remaining, and Christie-Leigh Hearder is virtually certain of claiming the equivalent women’s MTB award.

Sarah Gray looks to have taken control of the women’s trail running series and, although mathematically not confirmed, it is hard to see her being beaten to that prize. However, every point will count in the fascinating race to the men’s trail running title.

Leading the battle for the men’s title is Mdu Zondi, but crucially he has taken part in all seven of the series races so far in 2019. That leaves him with 409 points from his best six results, 48 points ahead of the 2018 champion Nomore Mandivengerei with Linda Zondi another 31 points further behind.

Adding to the intrigue, fourth-placed Innocent Skhumbuzo is on 260 points which puts him 70 behind Linda Zondi and not out of contention if he can produce three good results. Last week at the Sappi Scottburgh event Skhumbuzo beat all three of the runners above him on the series standings which makes him the form runner among the contenders and means he could still claim the title, but he needs other results go his way.

Mandivengerei has only taken part in five events while Linda Zondi and Skhumbuzo have competed in just four which gives them extra opportunities to add to their points tally — and means the first four positions could potentially be reversed at the end of the series once the best six results are calculated according to the series rules.

At Scottburgh, Skhumbuzo, Mandivengerei and the two Zondis finished one after each other in third to sixth positions, so it is clear that none of the four can afford to be complacent over the final three races. The remaining events in the series are the Illovo Eston this weekend, Harburg Tour de Krantz on August 17 and the Safire Baynesfield on September 17.

On Sunday, the 18km trail running event kicks off the proceedings at the Eston Farmers Club at Eston at 6.30am with the 60km Eston MTB Marathon starting at 8.30am. There is also a shorter 9km trail run and MTB events of 40km, 18km and 10km.

Latest Quattro ROAG Series standings
(best six results count to final score)

MTB
Men
1 Tyronne White 574 points (7 events)
2 Andrew Johnson 339 (5)
3 Andrew Hill 280 (4)
4 Carl Adendorff 234 (6)
5 Mazwi Smimango 207 (5)
6 Sthembiso Masango 197 (4)
7 Jedson Tooms 195 (5)
8 Dean Van dyk 194 (5)
9 Brad Thompson 177 (5)
10 Henry Liebenberg 172 (2)

Women
1 Christie-Leigh Hearder 486 (5)
2 Debrah Thomas 368 (7)
3 Brenda Potts 302 (5)
4 Belinda Mason 297 (6)
5 Nadine Nunes 277 (4)
6 Hayley Smith 250 (3)
7 Rouxda Grobler 219 (3)
8 Wendy Corkin 209 (6)
9 Linda Erskine 198 (5)
10 Ilse Longmore 195 (4)

Trail Run
Men
1 Mdu Zondi 409 (7)
2 Nomore Mandivengerei 361 (5)
3 Linda Zondi 330 (4)
4 Innocent Skhumbuzo 260 (4)
5 Carel Le Roux 177 (4)
6 Neil Mackenzie 126 (6)
7 Grant Humphrey 122 (3)
8 Craig Houston 113 (3)
9 Kelvin Borland 87 (3)
10 Leon Smith 64 (3)

Women
1 Sarah Gray 550 (6)
2 Apiwe Gaga 408 (5)
3 Patricia Dammann 294 (5)
4 Nokukhanya Memela 216 (3)
5 Wendy Mills 212 (3)
6 Karen Maiden 179 (6)
7 Hayley Mackinnon 171 (4)
8 Brenda McCann 86 (3)
9 Juanita Ugljanin 47 (3)

Remaining 2019 Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum events

DATE EVENT VENUE
4 Aug Illovo Eston MTB Challenge Beaumont Eston Farmers Club
17 Aug Harburg Tour de Krantz Harburg Hall
15 Sep Safire Baynesfield MTB & Trail Baynesfield
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