Quattro ROAG Series is also a restart for Stuart Marais

On 26 August 2020 by admin

By: Tim Whitfield

It seems fitting that Stuart Marais will be “racing” in new team colours for the first time when he takes part in the Sappi Scottburgh Virtual MTB and Trail Run this weekend. For Marais, the announcement of a new team this month is something of a restart of his professional cycling career, while the Scottburgh event represents the restart of the Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum.

Marais won both the two opening events of the series in February and March and must be favoured to secure the 2020 title, which also comes with the biggest cash prize of any MTB series in South Africa. For Marais, the resumption of racing means he stays on track to claim that prize, but just as important to him are the new colours he will be sporting when he returns to competitive action this weekend.

Earlier this month Marais was named in the new NanoTime team along with Matt Beers, Nico Bell, Wessel Botha and Zandri Strydom. The team is an exciting blend of exciting youthful talent and wise experience.

Marais is, however, more than just one of the team members.

“I’m basically managing the team, so there is lots going on at the moment, but it is all super exciting,” said the Howick-based rider. “The team has come together six months sooner than we expected.

“At the end of last year I thought I was done as a professional cyclist. I had struggled to find a sponsor for a while and I thought I had reached the end . . . I had written up my engineering CV and had a few potential jobs interviews lined up.

“But something told me to give it one last go and so I put out a final query on a local cycling website. I had some hard comments back with most people saying there was no future in South Africa as a professional cyclist.

“But there were one or two positive responses and somebody asked me to send him my cycling CV. A couple of weeks later I was part of the new Wille Honne team, that was sponsored by software developers {type}DEV.

“The intention was to look at building a full squad for the 2021 season, but then Covid hit with full force and other teams started to fold as sponsors were, understandably, unable to fulfil their obligations. Dave Jacobs, the CEO of {type}DEV, approached me and we decided to move our timeline up by six months and see if we could change an incredibly negative situation into a positive one.

“We were able to offer Matt Beers, Wessel Botha and Nico Bell a team set up. With one of the top young women riders in South Africa, Zandri Strydom, I think we have a team that can dominate mountain biking in this country.

“I have always loved the ROAG series and this year I made the series one of my main goals. I was pretty stoked with how things started when I won the opening two events, and then Covid threw everybody’s plans into disarray.

“I am so keen to support the rest of the series this year. I have been so impressed with how ROAG have tried to make a plan and keep the sport going. They are working hard to give people an opportunity to compete, as well as help the race organisers and they deserve a lot of credit for that.”

The Sappi Scottburgh Virtual MTB and Trail Run allows riders and runners to take part in the various race distances at any venue. Competitors must   complete the relevant distance predominantly off road and then upload their results to the ROAG website where the leaderboard for each event will be compiled.

There will be a R50 entry fee for the Sappi Scottburgh Virtual race with a portion of that fee being donated to the Cycling 4 Mobility charity, which is an official beneficiary of the event.

For more information regarding the series and events visit https://roag.org or www.roagseries.co.za

Current standings for 2020 Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum events
(after two events)

MTB: Men
1Stuart Marais200
2Andrew Hill172
3Tyronne White130
4David Low128
5Dean Van Dyk93
6Jedson Tooms78
7Grant Lavers75
8Willie Van Eck74
9Brad Thompson69
10Chris Horter67

MTB: Women
1Christie-Leigh Hearder186
2Jean Hackland138
3Nadine Nunes137
4Tarryn Morgan104
5Frances Janse Van Rensburg100
6Elmarie Thole89
7Isabel Moolman88
8Brenda Potts87
9Ilse Longmore82
10Belinda Mason81

Trail Run: Men
1Carel Le Roux102
2Linda Zondi100
=Nkosingiphile Ntshalinyshali100
4Wiseman Vezi86
=Nicholas Fowler86
6Jules Cassere80
7Themba Dlamini74
=Fabio Freitas74
9Neil Mackenzie69
10David Lamont64
=John Wasserfall64
=Travers Pellew64

Trail Run: Women
1Sarah Gray200
2Michelle Corns121
3Hayley Mackinnon98
4Apiwe Gaga86
=Wendy Arnott86
6Karen Maiden79
7Sarah Mthembu74
8Patricia Dammann64
=Pauline Rainbird64
10Carey-Anne Radford56

Provisional dates for 2020 Quattro ROAG Series powered by Momentum events

28-30 AugSappi ScottburghScottburgh Main Beach (VIRTUAL RACE)
10-11 Oct Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail FestivalKarkloof Country Club
25 Oct Illovo Eston MTB ChallengeBeaumont Eston Farmers Club
14-15 NovGooderson Drakensberg Gardens ChallengeGooderson Drakensberg Gardens Resort
Date TBCHolla Trails ClassicFairview Estate, Ballito
Date TBCHusqvarna Mid Illovo ClassicGwahumbe Game and Spa
Date TBCHarburg Tour de KrantzHarburg Hall
Date TBCSafire Baynesfield ClassicBaynesfield Recreational Club
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