Wartburg kicks off 2020 Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum

On 20 February 2020 by admin

Runaway 2019 series winners Tyronne White and Christie Hearder begin the defence of their title when they start the Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum at Wartburg on Saturday.

Last year White and Hearder recorded perfect 600-point scores with six wins in the 10-event series and they will be hoping to kick off their 2020 campaigns with a 100-point haul in the KZN Midlands on Saturday at the Illovo Wartburg MTB Classic & Trail Run.

By winning in Wartburg 12 months ago, White and Hearder picked up full points and thereafter were always leading the overall Grand Prix-style standings until they were confirmed as the respective 2019 men’s and women’s champions.

It is probably no coincidence that the trail running sections of the 2019 series was much tighter after both the eventual winners in that section of the series, Nomore Mandivengerei and Sarah Gray, elected not to take part in the opening leg in Wartburg which meant they were playing catch-up for most of the season.

The best six results count towards a runner or cyclists’ overall total which provides the athletes with some flexibility as to which events they will enter.

The mountain biking events in Wartburg are considered by many cyclists and trail runners to be the official start of the off-road racing season and the sublime purpose-cut forest single track leaves riders and runners with smiles on their faces at the finish line.

The event is however not an easy test with the shady forests hiding some steep climbs which expose those competitors who have skimped on their off-season training.

The Wartburg Kirchdorf School are the official race organisers and, as a relatively small local community raising funds for the local school, there is no shortage of manpower and enthusiasm for the event, which is evident in the superb preparation of the course and trails.

Riders have the option of a 65km, 45km 25km and 10km route while the family-nature of the event is highlighted by the 1km Crash and Dash event for kids. The trails runners have the option of a 7km or 14km run, and by starting the running at 6am, an hour and 45 minutes before the first mountain bike event, organisers are able to utilise sections of the same single track as the cyclists.

Last year Mthobisi Mzolo emerged as the winner over the 14km trail run and he is expected to return to attempt a repeat of his two-minute victory.

In the women’s race Jackie Moore had to work hard in 2019 to claim a narrow 30-second win over Apiwe Gaga, but the 2019 runner-up got stronger throughout the season and she may well be able to record a win to start her season. Gaga ended up third overall, just two points behind runner-up Nokukhanya Memela in the final Roag Series standings at the end of the year, so would welcome a strong start to help stave off some late-season drama this year.

2019 Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum events

15 FebIllovo Wartburg MTB & Trail RunWartburg Kirchdorf School
14-15 MarFuel & Gas Kamberg ClassicGlengarry, Kamberg
5 AprHolla Trails Sugar Rush ClassicSugar Rush Park, Ballito
19 AprHusqvarna Mid Illovo ClassicGwahumbe Game & Spa
30-31 MaySappi Karkloof Classic Trail FestivalKarkloof Country Club
27-28 JunGooderson Drakensberg Gardens ChallengeGooderson Drakensberg Gardens Resort
18-19 JulSappi ScottburghScottburgh Main Beach
2 AugIllovo Eston MTB ChallengeBeaumont Eston Farmers Club
15 AugHarburg Tour de KrantzHarburg Hall
13 SepSafire Baynesfield ClassicBaynesfield
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