The Cape Town Cycle Tour has, due to the pandemic, seen a 37.5% decrease in international entries. In a bid to mitigate the current restrictions around Covid-19 it has decreased its total number of entries (local and international), from 35 000 to 18 000.
The Cape Town Cycle Tour has, due to the pandemic, seen a 37.5% decrease in international entries. In a bid to mitigate the current restrictions around Covid-19 it has decreased its total number of entries (local and international), from 35 000 to 18 000.

History made at gruelling City cycle tour

By Odwa Mkentane Time of article published Oct 11, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - Nolan Hoffman became the second most successful men’s rider in Cape Town Cycle Tour history when he won his fourth title in 2 hours, 37 minutes, 12 seconds in near perfect weather on Sunday.

In the Women’s race, 2018 winner Kim Le Court De Billot took the title after a thrilling race over 78km that started in Fish Hoek. She clocked 2 hour 13 minutes 37 seconds.

The 36-year-old Hoffman who won in 2014, 2015 and 2018 – delivered the perfect sprint after surviving the climbs up Chapman’s Peak and Suikerbossie and winning by over a bike length ahead of Christiaan Janse van Rensburg and Craig Boyes.

“This is definitely the title that means the most. It has been a tough time for my family over the last 18 months and we have lost family members to Covid. I am just blessed to be healthy and be able to win,” the ENZA team rider said.

“I put on a lot of weight during the lockdown but I have worked really hard at getting into shape once we heard that the Cycle Tour was happening.”

Hoffman was able to save his energy for the big climbs when teammate David Maree got into the only significant break of the day. Maree got clear with Alwyn Steenkamp (TEG Procycling) and Keanan Roodt just after the climb up Wynberg Hill. Through Misty Cliffs the escapees stretched out the lead to 1:19 before they were eventually swallowed up by the charging bunch up Chapman’s Peak.

As the lead bunch approached Suikerbossie, World Tour rider Nic Dlamini (Assos-Qhubeka) was the first to attack as he attempted to burn off the sprinters. But the lead group eventually reformed over the final 15km into the finish and Hoffman – helped by guest teammate and mountain biking legend Christoph Sauser – got himself into the perfect position to deliver his trademark sprint.

“I just told myself to relax and believe in my sprint. It was just a perfect day,” Hoffman said. Only Willie Engelbrecht has won more titles than Hoffman in the men’s race with five to his name.

Le Court De Billot was part of a select group of six riders that managed to pull clear of the bunch up Chapman’s Peak and included SA champion and Hout Bay local Hayley Preen, top mountain biker Candice Lill, UK triathlon star Emma Pallant, Kelsey van Schoor and S’annara Grove.

Pallant was the early aggressor while Preen put down the hammer up Suikerbossie in an attempt to break up the lead group. But, in the end, the group entered the final kilometres intact and it was up to Le Court De Billot and Preen to contest the sprint. Behind them Pallant and the rest got tangled up and Pallant crashed heavily within sight of the finish line.

“I felt confident on the climbs, felt I was in the right place and my legs were good,” Le Court de Billot. “I tried to save my legs for the sprint because I confidence in that. I’m just glad I could pull it off for my team.”

About 60 cyclists from Khayelitsha Social Cycling club also competed at this year’s event.

The club hosts a series of rides led by an experienced ride captain for youth mainly from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Khayelitsha Social Cycling Club board member Luthando Khaka said not only was cycling good for physical health, but it also kept youth away from negative influences.

“The cycling was perfect and also the weather was good. We had crashed here and there but the cycling was worth it at the end of the day.

“We have been part of the Cycle Tour since the establishment of the organisation and since then we never looked back. When we enter the tour it's not about winning but about meeting other cyclists who come from different areas and expanding our knowledge as cyclists,” Khaka said.

“We started this organization to get the young ones out of the street and away from smoking, gangs, and things that may harm their future. We would like to see more and more young stars joining our organisation,” he said.

Results:

Men:

1 Nolan Hoffman (ENZA) 02:37:12

2 Christian Janse van Rensburg

3 Craig Boyes

4 Louis Visser

5 Jaco Venter

Women:

1 Kim Le Court de Billot (Galileo Infinit SPOT), 02:13:17

2 Hayley Preen

3 Candice Lill

4 Kelsey van Schoor (Customized Cycling Bioplus)

5 S’annara Grove, (Customized Cycling Bioplus)

Cape Times

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