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Silver medallist Hoffman stays on track in Europe
- Updated: January 21, 2013
He provided one of the highlights of South African cycling last year when he raced to silver in the 15-kilometre scratch event at World Championships in Melbourne, Australia last year.
Now our Nolan Hoffman finds himself on the other side of the world, in Europe where he is campaigning on the Six-Day circuit.
The Franschhoek rider took time out to tell Road to Rio 2016’s Mark Etheridge what he’s been up to in recent weeks.
1.) Tell us exactly what you’re doing in Europe now and for how long will you be in Europe? I see you’re riding Six-Day events now. Explain how that works and how many riders are invited? Also tell us about your Scratch win in Ghent?
“At the moment I’m competing in the Six Days of Bremen and previously also did Amsterdam, Grenoble, Gent and Rotterdam. The Six-Days is a track race which is being ridden over six nights and consists of many races per night… in one night we will do a 500-metre team time trial, 10 km points race, team elimination and two Madisons ÔÇô one of 30min and one of an hour. Only the best ranked riders in their countries get invited and World and Olympic medals count. Gent was an incredible experience, wining in front of a cycling crazy public was really great.”
2.) Are you still riding for Tasol GT over there or do you ride for a European team?
“I’m still with the management of Sidewindsports as we don’t know what is happening with the sponsors right now.”
3.) Look back at your 2012 .. surely your best year ever with that silver spot in Worlds. What did that silver mean to you and did it mean a massive boost in your own ability?
“Yes, 2012 was really incredible for me! It was beyond my wildest dreams! For me it will always be remembered as one of my biggest achievements that I could share with my dad who passed away shortly after the worlds.”
4.) You ended up not qualifying for the London Olympics? How did that work, surely a guy with your talent should have qualified or was it just a case of you focusing on the ‘wrong’ race etc?
“Yes I did not qualify because the Scratch event is not part of the Olympic programme. I was focussing on the scratch because it too late to qualify for the Omnium.”
5.) Talking of the Olympics, you’ll be about 31 for the Rio Games, that’s still young enough for a track rider and do you have ambitions to be on Team SA in Rio?
“Off course I want to go Rio, but with out the necessary support its impossible to keep going! Like now I’m struggling to support myself. I get support from my team and federation but it is not enough.”
6.) What about the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year, are they also in your plans? ┬á
“Yes, the Commonwealth Games are a big focus for me and I would love to get a medal there.”
7.) How much time do you spend in SA now ÔÇô give us an idea how your year will look… which races will you be racing in SA and around the rest of the world?
“I don’t know what my programme looks at the moment. But I will be in europe for about four months ┬áof the year. I will have more info when our team is finalised.”
8.) Are you the only South African rider doing these Six-Day events.. do you keep in touch with our other track ace, young Bernard Esterhuizen and do you help each other with tips etc?
“Yes its pretty cool to be competing in the Six-Days and there has been a lot of support for me here. Me and Bernie chat on Facebook now and then, but we ride two totally different disciplines and hardly race together or see each other at the races.”
9.) Where are you based in Europe and have you made buddies with any of the other big name of track cycling?
“I’m based in Belgium and Holland most of the time…. I’ve also became good buddies with Peter Schep and stayed with him whilst in Holland.”
10.) From the time you spend back in SA, who are our next track riders who can go on to big things?
“There are a lot of junior riders coming through at the moment… but at the moment I think Evan Carstens and Reniell Mathyssen can also star if they compete in more road races.”
11.) Finally, what’s your take on the whole Lance Armstrong saga, do you think the sport is cleaning up its image in terms of doping?
“Cycling is the only sport that is doing so much against the fight of doping in sport. Its cleaner now then ever before. You can see by the results, there is no more dominating figure. It is bad what the Lance story is doing to the sport. It happened 10 years ago and we need to move on!”