The first stage of the Clover Tour ended with Nolan Hoffman outsprinting an eight man group. Hoffman of Team BCX won from Willie Smit & Brendon Davids (both RoadCover)
It was a deceiving stage that looked relatively easy on paper, but ended with a reduced group putting up the white flag after the full on attacks to work together for the final 20km before the resulting sprint into Swadini.
The 135km stage was ridden quickly, with no pattern of a day's escape group forming, rather attack and counter attack. Small groups escaped, only to be brought back by counter attacking riders.
RoadCover cycling team, BCX, NAD pro MTB & Pro Touch probed to get that elusive group to go away. David Maree of BCX made the right move with Bradley Potgieter of RoadCover, which netted him the chance to gain some king of the mountain points.
They were not allowed freedom as their group was caught by Willie Smit & Brendon Davids which brought back a large group of BCX riders and Nico Bell of NAD pro MTb.
Potgieter then tried alone, but the headwind into Hoedspruit was too strong. Regrouping and splitting, the eventual break consisted of Nolan Hoffman, Reynard Butler & Steve Van Heerden of BCX. Bradley Potgieter, Brendon Davids & Willie Smit of RoadCover, Jayde Julius of Pro Touch and Nico Bell.
They continued to attack, until the flatter terrain allowed no further opportunities, so some cooperation ensued until the final stretch into Swadini. Julius tried in the final kilometers, but was brought back and the sprint went the way of Hoffman.
Hoffman will wear the first leaders jersey and the race will tackle the Abel Erasmus pass, riding through the JG Strydom tunnel before heading back to Swadini on Monday.
The Clover Lowveld Tour started on Sunday. Based out of Swadini Forever Resort, the 4 day tour offers a variety of terrain to challenge the riders.
RoadCover Cycling team has included six riders, headed up by Bradley Potgieter. Brendon Davids, Clint Hendricks & guest rider Ryan Harris (from Team Genasys) have been be re-united with Willie Smit & Mornay Van Heerden who have recently returned from a stint or racing in Spain.
The 5 stages of the tour offer exciting racing opportunities for the Local South African bunch to decide the overall leader. Ranging from flat stages to hilly stages which include Abel Erasmus Pass. The individual time trial & a tight criterium in Swadindi.
The main contenders of the tour will come from the likes of the defending team of RoadCover, Team BCX, Team ProTouch, Nad Pro MTB, with opposition from OfficeguruRacin, Luso Cycling Team, Sampada amongst others.
The stage on Monday is the ‘Queen Stage’ which will take riders over the Abel Erasmus pass and back to Swadini. The following days Individual Time trial and criterium will be a challenge but an opportunity to chase for the classification. The final day offer a flatter stage from Swadini to Orpen and back, finishing by Wednesday afternoon.
Results : stage 1, 135km
- Nolan Hoffman (Team BCX) 3:24:24
- Brendon Davids (RoadCover Cycling Team) st.
- Jayde Julius (Pro Touch) st.
- Reynard Butler (Team BCX) st.
- Steven Van Heerden (Team BCX) st.
- Nico Bel (NAD Pro mtb) st.
- Brad Potgieter (RoadCover Cycling Team) @ 0:13
- James Fourie (Pro Touch) @ 5:20
- Calvin Beneke (Team BCX) st.