Hoffman in new role

2014-04-26 00:00

THE 2014 edition of the aQuellé Tour Durban on Monday, April 28, looks set to see a changing of the guard amongst the 105 km road race’s elite men and women as the iconic event celebrates its 21st anniversary.

Triple title winner Nolan Hoffman, whose Team Abantu has ruled the roost with an iron fist since team manager Dean Edwards won the race in 2011, is back on the start line but it seems that the defending champion might be opting to play an unusual supporting role during this year’s race.

After a gruelling 14-month season without a break, Hoffman is being carefully managed after the Msanzi Tour as he has commitments to the SA Track Championships in Durban in 10 days’ time and longer term dreams to perform well at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, later in the year.

Edwards confirmed that Hoffman will be happy to play whatever role is asked of him during the race.

“He is the ultimate professional,” said Edwards. “Most importantly the team want to win this race again and Nolan supports that notion entirely.”

Edwards hinted that they were planning to hand over the aQuellé Tour Durban crown to up-and-coming sprinter Reynard Butler.

While the Team Abantu riders will be looking forward to the race given their long dominance of the event, their arch rivals Team Bonitas will also arrive in Durban buoyed by their successes at the recent Mzansi Tour, and with sprinter Herman Fouche hungry to step onto the top step of the podium.

In the woman’s race, strongest threat looks to come from Johann Wykert’s newly constituted Time Freight VELOLife squad, spearheaded by experienced Lise Olivier.

Two-and-a-half hours after the 6.30 am start of the 105 km road race, a large field of mountain bikers will set off north from the Moses Mabhida Stadium for the 55 km cyclo-cross race. While not a cyclo-cross race in the classic sense, the race is a unique combination of 40 km of fast tar racing and three off-road loops that require core MTB skills.

Another massive field of social riders will start the 40 km fun ride from Moses Mabhida Stadium to Umdloti and back at 9. 15 am.

Please note the following road closures will be in force on race day:

Masabalala Yengwa (NMR Avenue)

5.30 am to 2.30 pm

Margaret Mncadi Avenue 5.30 to 8 am

M4 South 5.30 to 8.30 am

M7 Edwin Swales & M19 to Pinetown 6 am to 9.30 am

M19 Pinetown to Umgeni Road 6.15 am to 10 am

Inanda Road (Springfield Park) 6.30 am to 10.15 am

Riverside Road 6.30 am to 10.30 am

M4 North both sides 5.30 to 2.30 pm

Race start times:

105km road race: 6.30 am

55km cyclo-cross: 9.00 am

45km road race: 9.15 am.

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