10 March 2014
Nolan Hoffman claimed his first win in the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour and Cherise Stander her third victory in the women’s race in Cape Town on Sunday.
The Cycle Tour, which starts and finishes in Cape Town and takes place around the picturesque Cape Peninsula, is the largest individually timed cycle race in the world.
Team Abantu’s Hoffman, who had previously finished on the podium on three different occasions, finally made it to the top step after winning in a bunch sprint in two hours, 39 minutes and 31 seconds.
He was followed over the finishing line by Eritrea’s Meron Teshome Hagos, riding for the MTB Qhubeka Feeder Team, and HB Kruger of Team Bonitas.
Hoffman used his track speed to claim the line honours after excellent work from his team put him in position to top the finishing sprint. Some disorganisation among the other teams also helped.
‘Perfect for me’
“There was sort of chaos among the MTN boys and that fell into my hands because they had the numbers,” Hoffman said afterwards. “They pretty much controlled it, which was perfect for me. I can hold myself in a sprint and I can see which wheels to follow.
“Knowing there weren’t any strong guys, I had the confidence to sprint against these guys, but it wasn’t easy.”
While the men’s race finished in a sprint, Stander, riding for team RECM, secured a much more convincing women’s victory after taking an early lead that she never relinquished. The closest her title challenge came to being undermined was right at the finishing line when two cyclists in the group she was riding in went down in a hard crash.
“I am extremely happy,” she said in a post-race interview. “Today, personally for me, it was quite difficult. Last year [after the death of my husband Burry], everything was such a blur and I lost my gran last year as well, and…she was quite the anchor in my cycling career. She was with me [in it] since I was nine years old and she died on the 15th of August.
“Just over Suikerbossie, I kept thinking about her and Burry and how much I wanted this win for both of them and I was extremely happy [to win]. They were the motivation that got me over the line.”
Stander’s winning time was two hours and 51 minutes, with seven-time winner Anriette Schoeman claiming second place, 31 seconds behind her. Dee Joubert ended third, just over a-minute-and-a-half further back.
- Nolan Hoffman (RSA) 2:39:31
- Meron Teshome Hagos (Eri) same time
- HB Kruger (RSA) st
- Nicholas Dougall (RSA) st
- Fran Rabon (Cze) st
- Jayde Julius (RSA) st
- Shaun-Nick Bester (RSA) st
- Karl Platt (Ger) st
- Darren Lill (RSA) st
- Costa Seibeb (NAM) st
- Cherise Stander (RSA) 2:51:00
- Anriette Schoeman (RSA) 2:51:31
- Dee Joubert (RSA) 2:53:03