Top SA teams line up for Durban road race | SASCOC - SASCOC

Top SA teams line up for Durban road race

The country’s top road cycling teams are converging on KwaZulu-Natal for the aQuell├® Tour Durban on Sunday, eager to claim podium places in this popular classic.

The Tasol GT team, supporting double defending champion and 2012 world track silver medallist Nolan Hoffman, will be emotionally charged as the Durban based outfit prepares for its final outing in its team colours before their sponsorship comes to an end.

They have been strong in the past few weeks with David Maree and Hoffman excelling in the recent Mzansi Tour and Maree winning at Monte Casino the week before that.

However, the Bonitas team will be hoping to get the new Pick n Pay Cape Argus Cycle Tour champ Herman Fouche to the front of the pack in the end sprint.

“It is important for the team, rather than for any individual, that we get it right,” said Fouche. “Bonitas has a really good lead out, and hopefully they can deliver me to the line.”

The Bonitas line-up is somewhat depleted with their big name mountain bikers committed to the Joberg2C race, leaving Fouche with Christoff van Heerden and Luthando Kaka to structure the team challenge.

“Sure that will put us under a little bit more pressure,” admitted Fouche. “You have to watch everyone, all the time, and make sure that no breaks happen that you are not part of. It adds a little bit of stress but we are up for the challenge.

“The Mzansi tour was a great fast race and gave us all a good base. I think it is going to be a very interesting race on Sunday and well look forward to racing in Durban,” he added.

Add to the mix the potent the class of the Westvaal BMC team with Tyler and Dusty Day and the presence of the Mecer outfit, and the size of the peloton heading into the two tough right hand turns into the finish at the Moses Mabhida stadium, and one can be sure it will make the lead-out strategy critical to any team’s hopes of success.

The women’s race in recent years has been less reliant on team tactics but defending champion Lynette Burger comes into the race with her Momentum Toyota team bristling with talent and youthful energy.

The pressure will certainly come from the likes of Cashandra Slingerland, who will be riding without her Team Ferrochrome colleagues, with the strong Mecer Elite women’s team riders sure to add on-going pressure from their numerical presence and balanced team make-up.

“The women’s race has changed a lot,” says Slingerland. “In years gone by women’s teams were a factor but now most of the top women are racing on their own, so it has become more of an individual race.”

Most of the teams will be arriving late in the week and will spend time looking at the key sections of the course, and in particular planning their lead-out into the 180 degree switchback over the bridge into the finish outside the iconic Durban stadium.