The Absolute Motion rider, who won the Eston MTB Challenge last month, crossed the line at the specially arranged elite event in 2:46:54 to beat newly crowned ROAG Series champion Stuart Marais (NanoTime) by 10 minutes. Tyronne White (DriveTrain Academy) placed third.
Van Eeden set the pace at the front from the start, with Andrew Hill (TIB Insurance), White and Marais watching his every move.
When the 20-year-old upped the pace at the first serious climb, Marais was able to match him. However, an unfortunate puncture for Marais at the technical Gauntlet section left Van Eeden alone at the front.
White was able to claw his way back to Van Eeden but was dropped for good on the Lebanon climb.
“Then I just concentrated on keeping the tempo up and making sure that gap stayed open,” said van Eeden, who had recently moved from Potchefstroom to Hilton in KwaZulu-Natal. “It is, by far, the toughest one-day marathon anywhere in the country.
“The racing here in KZN is always proper! The guys are always on form so I was lucky to win this one against a really strong field.”
The women’s title went to Cherie Redecker, who crossed the line in 3:47:54.