Nolan Hoffman and Maroesjka Matthee walked away from the 2012 SA National track and Para Cycling Championships at Alexandra Park, Pietermaritzburg beaming from ear to ear after the pair completely obliterated their respective elite men’s and elite women’s field over the five day cycling showcase.
The final day of the champs brought the curtain down on what has been a five-day cycling frenzy in KwaZulu-Natal’s capital as the CSA KZN All Africa Challenge played host to not only the National Track Championships but also the SA National BMX Championships and the CSA KZN All Africa MTB Challenge, which for the first time in cycling in South Africa riders from the three codes were able to interact and spend some time appreciating what some of their fellow cyclists do in their respective disciplines.
Hoffman was a walking trophy cabinet as he left Alexandra Park with no fewer than five titles to his name having claimed the elite men’s Omnium, 15km Scratch and 40km Points crowns on his own as well as the Open men’s Madison with James Perry and the Team Pursuit with his fellow Tasol GT teammates.
All this, together with the aQuellé Tour Durban presented by Spur title he successfully defended on Sunday morning, made for an exhausting yet hugely successful weekend for one of the country’s leading track and road cyclists.
The only blemish on Hoffman’s card was the noticeable absenteeism of the SA Elimination title as well, this after he and two of his teammates were controversially disqualified from the event due to a technicality.
Hoffman successfully overcame the field in the 50km Madison event with the help of James Perry who went on to claim gold in 4000m Individual Pursuit as well, whilst Jeanné Nell was the only other multiple title winner in the elite men’s division walking away with gold medals in the 1000m Time Trial and Keirin events.
Others to have claimed a national title at this year’s champs were Brent Pheiffer who after breaking the mould and catching all his competitors off guard went on to claim the 1500m event, whilst Jean Smith won the Sprint event and Evan Carstens the Elimination.
In the elite women’s category it was a one-horse race from the outset as Maroesjka Matthee methodically and relentlessly went about claiming five of the six titles on offer throughout the five days.
Matthee claimed gold in the Sprint, 15km Points, 7,5km Scratch, 500m Time Trial and Keirin events leaving only the 3000m Individual Pursuit title up for grabs, which Claudia Bold made her own ahead of Lauren Burnett whilst Tannah Robinson had to settle for silver in all five events that Matthee won.
In the junior men’s category it was Kellan Gouveris who followed in senior teammate Nolan Hoffman’s footsteps and powered to the front of the pack and also claimed the Junior Rider of Championships trophy, whilst Hoffman was deservedly named Elite Rider of the Championships.
Gouveris and other youngsters such as under 12 competitor Cameron Wright (Team Jeep) who claimed three golds and a silver show the future of the sport of track cycling is in good hands as the not too distant future looms.