Hoffman does it by a split second

HCT Poste event finishline Photo 2019.jpg

DNS Sports sprinter Nolan Hoffman edged Ryan Harris by a split second to bag yet another 106km Herald Continental Cycle Tour victory at Pollok Beach in Summerstrand on Su n d ay. It took a couple of minutes for the winner to be announced as race officials decided the 2019 champion after Hoffman and Harris crossed the finish line neck-and-neck in two hours, 32 minutes and 14 s e co n d s .

Gustav Basson was third and credited with the same t i m e. Hoffman, 32, said the 2019 race was probably the hardest he had ever done. “If you were thinking of giving up then you had lost the race already,” the multiple former champion said. “I just had to put my head down and hope the guy in front of me was holding the wh e e l . “Fortunately, I managed to stay with Clint Hendricks because I know he is a strong rider in the crosswinds. “It worked out well.” Despite the win, the Capetonian said he was not 100% his best in terms of fitness, but it was just a matter of sharpening the pencil as all the work had been done. “I am happy with the way I was on the hills and the climbing,” Hoffman said. “That is a positive and it was a boost in the right direction for the upcoming races.” Reflecting on the race, Hoffman said: “It looked like it was going to rain in the beginning and then the mist just cleared and it was a sunny day. “About 20km into the race

there was no wind, nothing. Then all of a sudden it just came out of nowhere and it was blowing the guys to the side on the road. “PE never seems to disappoint – it can be rainy and then all of a sudden the sun is out and then the wind blows. “But that makes for really good cycling conditions and it makes the race exciting. “You always have to concen - trate on what you need to do. “If you are too far back and m i ss a breakaway, you can lose out. “I didn’t dare look back even once because when we came into the last kilometre, I

only saw 10 guys that were left in the group. That happened in a matter of 500m.” Tiffany Keep, 18, made a memorable debut by b e at i n g Nelson Mandela Bay’s Anriette Schoeman to take the women’s t i t l e. The KwaZulu-Natal rider

finished the race in 3:09:56, followed by Schoeman in 3:09:57. Third place went to Frances Janse van Rensburg, also in a time of 3:09:57. The Varsity College student has vowed to come back to defend her title in 2020. Asked what she had done right to win the race, Keep said: “I think I raced cleverly. “In the past, I used to sit in the front the whole way because I come from a mountain bike background and that is really the only tactic I know. “I think I applied a bit more of a tactical approach to this race today. “It was my first attempt at it.

and I am very happy with how it went. “I really didn’t know what to expect because I have never raced in this part of the country b e f o r e. “It was actually very nice for me to have a change of scenery and I really enjoyed racing along the coastline of PE with a good bunch of girls. “I am super stoked that my sprint paid off and I was able to cross the line first. “I’ll try my best to be back next year. I really enjoyed the race and I only have good things to say about this event. “I’ll definitely recommend it to everyone back home.”

Berna Walters