DURBAN, April 27 (ANA) – Former aQuellé Tour winner Nolan Hoffman is looking to turn the clock back in Durban on Sunday when he takes part in the 26th edition of this major cycling race.
Three-times winner Hoffman, winner of the 2018 Cape Town Cycle Tour and a legend of the South African track racing scene, will be back for another crack at the title in the Team Enza colours.
The Bolander, who turned 34 on Tuesday, last won the Tour Durban title in 2013, and more importantly he has been the general behind many of the dominant team performances here in the past decade.
"The Hoff" comes to Durban with a team that includes experienced cool-heads in David Maree and Steven van Heerden.
He will have to square up to the defending Tour Durban champion Gustav Basson (TEG Pro Cycling) who returns with his team mate Jason Oosthuisen to try and repeat their one-two of 2018.
Add to that mix the class of riders like Barzani's Tyler and Dusty Day, Dylan Girdlestone and Marc Pritzen (OfficeGuru Racing), the racing at the front will live up to the status of this Durban classic.
In a twist, some of the regular campaigners on the domestic circuit will be absent, thanks to a curious clash on the calendar with a road race in Gauteng, leaving the door wide open for the loyal supporters of the Durban event to attack the podium places.
Local fans of the Tour Durban were gearing up to rally behind Kloof youngster Tiffany Keep, after a storming solo second last year but she recently took a bad fall, needing stitches to repair the damage which reluctantly forced her to withdraw from her hometown major road race.
The big day on the Durban sporting calendar will see another huge field take on the 55km race that includes 15km of mountain bike off-road racing through the sugar cane plantations inland of the M4.
The well-supported 45km Fun Ride up-and-back the M4 to Umdloti and back to the start and finish venue at the Moses Mabhida Stadium always attracts a big field.
This race will include the hand-cyclists, now formally recognised as a separate class by the race, and in a new initiative, race sponsor Bridge Fund managers pay the entry fee for e3very hand-cyclist who enters the race.
2018 Gustav Basson, Kim le Court
2017 Clint Hendricks, An-Li Kachelhoffer
2016 Bradley Potgieter, Lise Olivier
2015 Ryan Gibbons, Cherise Stander
2014 Reynard Butler, Lise Olivier
2013 Nolan Hoffman, Lynette Burger.
African News Agency (ANA)