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All systems go in KZN for Hoffman and Co
- Updated: March 9, 2016
Team Telkom Pro Cycling are relishing a trip to KwaZulu-Natal’s East Coast for the 2016 aQuellé Tour Durban as they look to return either three-time race winner Nolan Hoffman or 2014 champion Reynard Butler to the top step of the popular 105km event’s podium on Sunday, 24 April.
Hoffman, 2015 Cape Town Cycle Tour winner and Butler, a member of Team South Africa at last year’s African Games, will be joined in Telkom’s five-man-strong, title pursuing line-up by team mates David Maree, Morné van Niekerk and Aidan van Niekerk and the Tour Durban is an assignment Hoffman is looking forward to being a part of once more.
‘It’s obviously a new team for us but we still have the same goal!’ says Hoffman. ‘After having missed out in 2015, we’re hungry to get the title back!
‘The Tour Durban has always been a race I really enjoy, one of the bigger races for me personally and is now also one of our team’s bigger events of the first half of the year,’ he adds.
Having claimed a historic hat-trick at the Tour Durban between 2011 and 2013, ‘The Hoff’ fell agonisingly short of completing a triple triumph at the Cape Town Cycle Tour this past weekend, proving both he and his team mates remain in fine form.
‘Each year presents different tests and I still enjoy the whole challenge of training and preparing for races and then measuring the success of that by my results at races like the Tour Durban.
‘I’m feeling good at the moment but the nice thing about Reynard (Butler) having matured in the big way that he has, is that now he is just as fast as me.
‘He is now able to take the pressure off me and I can do the same for him so it’s great to go into big races with two cards to play!’ explains Hoffman.
Having achieved success at the Durban event with the Tasol GT and Team Abantu outfits previously, Hoffman is enjoying the new Telkom setup and believes a strong Tour Durban showing will pave the way for the team for the remainder of the year.
‘So far, so good!’ says Hoffman. ‘As a team we’ve found each other now, we’ve won at least four races already this year and everybody is getting along quite nicely.’
‘We’ll decide on our plans for the second half of the year after the Tour Durban so hopefully we can keep things going and get a win there which will then give us some added momentum going forward.’
The 2016 aQuellé Tour Durban offers 105km or 45km road race and 55km cyclocross event options.
In this picture by Zoon Cronje, Team Telkom Pro Cycling’s Aidan van Niekerk (left), Morné van Niekerk (second left), Nolan Hoffman (third left), Reynard Butler (centre) and David Maree (second right) will look to fly the flag high