Pietermaritzburg – The 2017 dusi2c race from Pietermaritzburg to Durban has been dominated by local Andrew Hill, and the four-time winner will be teaming up the young Julian Jessop as he eyes a fifth win in the popular two-day race from 10 to 11 June.
Hill has been victorious in each of the four instalments of the race and with a new partner in 2017, Hill hopes to make it five from five and it would take a brave gambler to bet against the Team TIB duo who have struck up a sound partnership in 2017.
“It’s always good to race with Julian. He is a serious up-and-coming talent and it’s great that we have created such a good partnership,” Hill said.
“He keeps me on my toes and it’s great for me to race with him but it’s also good for him to race with someone with experience who can teach him the ropes of stage racing.
“We get on well together and understand each other which makes the combination work well.”
The pair recently finished fifth overall at the KAP sani2c, against one of the strongest fields in the race’s 13-year history. In testing conditions Hill and Jessop proved that they are able to compete with the best stage racers in the country.
Hill, who lives in Hillcrest, is a regular visitor to the Valley of a Thousand Hills where he does a lot of his training, however he still feels privileged and appreciates the opportunity to race so close to home.
“The dusi2c is nothing like sani2c in that it gets right to the roots of mountain biking. There are no frills to the event and you feel like you have taken part in something different and exciting when you get to the finish.
“It is such a cool event and for me being just 20 minutes away from home makes it even more of a privilege because there are a lot of guys I feel who miss out on it.
“The festivities at the overnight stop at Mfula Store make the race special and the setting in the valley is always appreciated,” he added.
Although ‘Farmer’ Glen Haw doesn’t like to change too much about the route as it is a track that follows many different cattle paths, local commuters routes and district roads to the sea in Durban, however he usually has a few tricks up his sleeve.
Because the route mostly follows cattle paths, local commuters’ trails and district roads to the sea in Durban, ‘Farmer’ Glen Haw doesn’t like to change too much about the course, however, he usually has a few tricks up his sleeve.
“It’s always good to go and do a bit of a refresh along the route beforehand. The route tends to be similar every year except there might be a different river crossing here or there.
“I always want to sort of know what to expect considering how different the race is in terms of navigation,” Hill commented.
Despite winning every previous edition of the race, Hill believes that there is always a threat to his crown and 2017 is no different as he highlights teams that could prove to be difficult to beat.
“Warren Price and Trevor Rowe finished second last year and they know the route really well so they will definitely provide a threat.
“The Change a Life guys are always a force to be reckoned with in their own back yard and with their strong performances at the Absa Cape Epic, if they are at dusi2c they will be other teams to watch out for,” a cautious Hill added.
The dusi2c is a two-day mountain bike race from Camps Drift in Pietermaritzburg to Blue Lagoon in Durban. The race follows the Msundusi and Mgeni Rivers through the Valley of a Thousand Hills.