Nolan Hoffman from Team Abantu clinched the coveted first place in the 37th Cape Argus Pick n Pay Momentum Cycle Tour this morning, clocking an impressive time of 02:39:01 despite wind speeds of up to 83km/h recorded at the start. Merone Hagos, an Eritrean rider from Team MTN Qhubeka Feeder followed in second place, with HB Kruger from Team Bonitas taking third place in a hard-fought battle for podium spots.
After 10 attempts, including three podium finishes, 28-year old Hoffman was “over the moon” after being crowned the winner. “Cape Town’s weather is always unpredictable and the conditions out there today were extremely tough. My teammates rode a perfect tactical race and controlled it as much as possible. Suikerbossie was a true killer and I’ve never had to dig that deep to conquer a climb. I’m really happy to win the biggest race on the cycling calendar – to win is incredible, but to win Cycle Tour is out of this world.”
In the ladies race, Cherise Stander from Team RECM claimed the gold medal with a time of 02:51:00, holding off stiff competition from Anriëtte Schoeman of Team Bestmed Africa Silks while Team Active Drinks’ An-Li Kachehoffer came in third.
Stander, who today completed her 15th Cycle Tour, said the event was the highlight of her year. “Today was extremely fast-paced and aggressive, especially with the wind which played a big factor. It was gusty out there so we had to be very careful about bunch positioning and dig deep on the climbs. I’m really happy with my win today!”
A new addition to this year’s event was the Alain Huchon trophy, awarded to the first non-licensed international rider that crossed the finish line. Joachim Pettersen from Norway completed the route in a time of 02:50:51 to become the first recipient of this prestigious award.
David Bellairs, a Director of the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust that organises the annual event, said: “by 16h10, the medical teams, under the expert guidance of Mediclinic’s Dr Basil Bonner, had responded to approximately 198 high priority incidents of which 59 had been referred to hospital. At the time of reporting 33 of these had been confirmed as fractures of various natures. Current indications are that with the wind keeping temperatures down, the event was seeing fewer cases of dehydration and heat related issues. Interestingly, the wind was a key factor in reducing the number of overall incidents as participants opted for safety ahead of speed.”
Despite the adverse weather conditions in the early hours of this morning, at least 34 500 cyclists are confirmed to have started the world’s largest timed cycling event on Hertzog Boulevard in what can only be described as testing conditions. Cape Town Mayor, Patricia de Dille, Pick n Pay Chairman Raymond Ackerman, Cape Argus Editor Jermaine Craig and Momentum Head of Brand Danie van den Bergh fired the starting gun at 06h15.
Elite Men 1st: Nolan Hoffman (Team Abantu) (02:39:31)
Elite Men 2nd: Meron Hagos (Team MTN Qhubeka Feeder)) (02:39:31)
Elite Men 3rd: HB Kruger (Team Bonitas) (02:39:31)
Elite Men 4th: Calvin Beneke (Team EuropcarSA) (02:39:31)
Elite Men 5th: Fran Rabon (Meerendal-Songo-Specialized) (02:39:31)
Elite Ladies 1st: Cherise Stander (Team RECM) (02:51:00)
Elite Ladies 2nd: Anriëtte Schoeman (Team Bestmed Africa Silks) (02:51:31)
Elite Ladies 3rd: An-Li Kachehoffer (Team Activate Drinks) (02:53:39)
Elite Ladies 4th: Jennie Stenerhag (Team CBC) (02:56:45)
Elite Ladies 5th: Carmen Buchacher (02:57:19)