The new finish of the Bestmed Satellite Championship road cycling classic supposedly favoured climbers, but Nolan Hoffman was fast to disprove that theory when he won the 110km race in Maropeng on Saturday.
The BCX sprinter had the final say when he passed Dimension Data’s Kent Main in the closing metres to take the title in 2:33:23. RoadCover’s Bradley Potgieter completed the podium.
Hoffman (Team BCX) wins from Kent Main (Dimension Data Continental team) - Images Cyclenation
“I’m pretty chuffed to win a race that people thought climbers would win,” said Hoffman, who took his third Bestmed Cycle4Cansa title at Sun City in late August.
Riding a tactically smart race, the rider from Ruimsig and teammate David Maree joined five other riders – Bradley Potgieter (RoadCover), Ryan Harris (RoadCover), Luthando Kaka (Rand Water-Transnet), Jaco van Dyk (Cycling Box) and Chris Jooste (Luso Cycling) – in a breakaway that formed within the first 20km.
A chilly start into the sun, the breakaway escaped in the first few hundred meters.
“Today, with the hill at the end, I didn’t think I’d be able to contest for the victory,” said Hoffman, who was tasked with covering the breakaways.
“It somehow worked out that I got myself in the breakaway with six other guys. We worked well together and at some points we had four minutes on the group, and that’s when my plans changed.”
With about 10km to go, they reached the base of the decisive Hekpoort climb with a small advantage over the peloton. Harris and Van Dyk soon lost touch while Maree nursed Hoffman all the way to the top to keep him within 10 seconds of the leaders.
Meanwhile, a charging Main was able to bridge over to the leaders shortly after they crested the climb, leaving a group of six to fight it out for the victory.
“On the last drag to the finish, with about 700m to go, Kent attacked,” explained Hoffman. “David put in a final effort to close him down and I sprinted across to get on his wheel.
“I’m pretty happy to win a race like this, with tough, windy conditions. It’s pretty cool,” said the 32-year-old, who won once previously on a more forgiving course.
“It’s confirmation that sometimes you can outsmart the climbers. We made sure we had a big enough gap at the base so that they wouldn’t catch us and it worked out perfectly.”
Brad Potgieter (RoadCover Cycling Team) on the podium with Hoffman & Main
Results – 110km
1. Nolan Hoffman 2:33:23
2. Kent Main 2:33:23
3. Bradley Potgieter 2:33:33
4. David Maree 2:33:33
5. Luthando Kaka 2:33:42
In some news of the other categories, Nic White managed to win the Veteran's over 40 category, after an escape from the breakaway group of 9 riders, using the platform of the final climb of Hekpoort as was designed by the organisers.
The Veteran's Podium, Johann Naude (Team Bestmed 2nd), Nic White (RoadCover), and Carl Lotter 3rd
The junior's race was won by Callum Ormiston (Infinita), from Ricardo Broxham (Pro Touch) and Travis Barrett (Officeguru racing)