Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
10 Mar 2014
6:10 am

Hoffman finally ticks Argus box

Wesley Botton

After narrowly missing out on numerous previous occasions, Nolan Hoffman was delighted to clinch the elite men's crown for the first time yesterday at the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour.

FILE PIC: Nolan Hoffman. Photo by Duif du Toit/Gallo Images.

Sitting back in the lead peloton for most of the race, the Capetonian tore through the bunch in a sprint to the line, securing the title in 2:39:31.

“It’s a home race and everybody was rooting for me,” said Hoffman, riding for Team Abantu.

“Today it looked like the stars were aligned and I’m just really over the moon to have got away with this one.”

A former silver medallist at the World Track Championships, Hoffman had finished second at the Argus in 2006 and 2008, and third in 2009.

He came through yesterday to edge Eritrean Meron Hagos of the MTN Qhubeka Feeder team, who finished second, and fellow South African HB Kruger of team Bonitas, who was third.

“It’s been 10 years of trying and I’ve been in just about every possible place in the top 10 except the win,” Hoffman said.

“So to come away with the win is incredible.”

Cherise Stander, riding for the RECM team, outclassed the elite women’s field to grab a comfortable victory in the annual 109km event.

Stander, who won the race in 2008 and 2011, broke away from seven-time champion Anriette Schoeman to win by 31 seconds in 2:51:00.

Better known these days as a mountainbike rider, Stander said she would compete in both disciplines as long as she was capable.

“I love the road, and if I’m just on the mountainbike I do miss it,” she said.

“But I have a passion for both and as long as I can do both I’ll continue doing it.”

Schoeman, the defending champion, was just behind Stander for most of the race, but she fell back going over the Suikerbossie climb near the finish.

“Unfortunately today I didn’t have the legs but I must hand it to Cherise. She rode a super race,” Schoeman said.