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Esterhuizen, Hoffman ride for SA in Colombia
- Updated: February 19, 2014
Just two riders will fly the flag for South Africa at the 2014 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Cali, Colombia from 26 February to 2 March.
They are 2012 London Olympian Bernard Esterhuizen and former World Championships silver medallist Nolan Hoffman.
Team manager will be former elite rider Dean Edwards.
Both team members are part of SSACOC’s┬á OPEX programme and have qualified for more than one event at the World Championships. With the upcoming Commonwealth Games in mind, both will have to deliver top-five performances for an automatic qualification to the Games.
Esterhuizen, will compete in the one-kilometre time trial (TT) of which he is a former junior world champion, and the Match Sprint events.
Meanwhile, Hoffman (pictured right) who won silver in the scratch event in Melbourne, two years ago, will compete in the 15km Scratch Race and the 30km Points Race. This after he qualified for the two events by competing in the three 2013/2014 UCI Track World Cup rounds from early November 2013.
Team manager Dean Edwards has reiterated that the objective for the riders is to race to win, and that there is a high level of expectation from the riders.
Edwards said: ÔÇ£Having spent three years as an elite rider, we should start to see Bernard┬áchallenging for a medal in the 1km TT in the Elite ranks. It is a big step from Junior to Elite but he has matured and has been based in the US, which helps a lot as he┬áreceives world-class coaching on international standard facilities. I am expecting him to go top five in order to ensure he qualifies for the Commonwealth Games. The 1km TT will be Bernie’s main focus with the Sprint a┬ásecondary focus.ÔÇØ
Also as Hoffman’s Team Abantu team principal, Edwards said in a recent team press release: ÔÇ£With just 24 riders from around the world qualifying and eligible to start in the UCI World Championships, Hoffman’s inclusion is an achievement on its own. It was an important objective to get him into both the events and he gave of his best to qualify. It hasn’t been easy for him spending months travelling the world with minimal or sometimes no support staff, but he has put in the hard work and the results speak for themselves!ÔÇØ
Speaking from Bogota, Hoffman told Road to Rio 2016’s Mark Etheridge this week: “This year I’m hoping to do better than last year. I have decided to come and prepare in Bogota which is 2000m in altitude higher then Cali and also to adjust to the time zone.
“I think that physically I’m in good shape at the moment and I want to finish on the podium again like in 2012. Preparation is going really well and i think I’m on the right path to achieve that goal.”
Picture: Roger Bouton