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Hoffman hunts at ‘home’
- Updated: October 5, 2011
The final of the three-legged Engen Dynamic Cycle Challenge heads to Wellington on Sunday.
Due to international commitments, MTN Qhubeka who claimed victory in Durban on 2 October through Arran Brown, will not be racing which opens the door for the winner to come from one of the other two big teams in South Africa ÔÇô Bonitas or Tasol GT.
Tasol GT will be looking to set up their star sprinter, Nolan ÔÇ£The HoffÔÇØ Hoffman for a win; a win which would be all the sweeter as Hoffman hails from this region. His prodigious talent saw him snapped up by Neotel and he moved to Johannesburg where he quickly made a name for himself.
Hoffman is in great form, but has had to play second fiddle to MTN Qhubeka’s Arran Brown for three races successive races and the 26 year old is hungry for a victory. Hoffman was crowned All Africa Champion on Sunday 11 September. ÔÇ£I am getting into better and better shape as the year comes to an end,ÔÇØ said Hoffman after his second place in Durban on the past weekend. ÔÇ£I have a great team and we are keen to win some big races.ÔÇØ
Looking to prevent the ÔÇ£home town boyÔÇØ from winning will be the likes of Tyler Day and Jason Bakke of the Bonitas team. Day finished third overall in Durban and first U23 rider. After a recent collarbone injury, the youngster showed at the Engen Dynamic Cycle race in Durban, that he is beginning to find form again.
Looking to set him will his team mates, Darren Lill, Hanco Kachelhoffer and Johann Rabie. Kachelhoffer is a very handy and dangerous rider to have as he is a very strong climber and a handy all-rounder. The EDCC in Wellington has one monster climb early on in the race ÔÇô the climb up to Riebeek Kasteel. The climb is roughly 30km into the 100km race, so if Kachelhoffer can open up a decent break on this climb, Bonitas will sit back and let the rest of the teams do the chasing.
The dark horse in the equation is Daikin GU. The local team is headed by the dangerous Moolman Welgemoed and his lieutenant, Alastair Davies. Both have had wins over the big up country pro teams and will be looking for yet another chance to show up the better-known teams from Johannesburg.
Other than the major climb up to Riebeek-Kasteel, the route is undulating with a fast downhill finish. So if no one is able to break away at the climb, then the race is likely to finish in a bunch sprint, and there Hoffman and Day should be the ones to beat.