Nolan Hoffman and Carla Oberholzer won the 110km Satellite Championship road cycling classic in Maropeng today.
The race featured the 4km long Hekpoort climb just before the finish and it was there that the final contenders were decided.
Hoffman proved it wasn’t a race for the climbers when he passed Dimension Data’s Kent Main in the closing metres to take the title in 2:33:23. RoadCover’s Bradley Potgieter completed the podium.
“I’m pretty chuffed to win a race that people thought climbers would win,” said Hoffman.
The BCX sprinter rode a tactically smart race as he and teammate David Maree joined five other riders – Bradley Potgieter (RoadCover), Ryan Harris (RoadCover), Luthando Kaka (Rand Water-Transnet), Jaco van Dyk (Cycling Box) and Chris Jooste – in a breakaway that formed within the first 20km.
With about 10km to go, they reached the base of the decisive Hekpoort climb with a small advantage over the peloton. Harris and Van Dyk soon fell behind while Main bridged over to the leaders, leaving a group of six to fight it out for the victory.
“On the last drag to the finish, with about 700m to go, Kent attacked,” explained Hoffman. “David put in a final effort to close him down and I sprinted across to get on his wheel.
“I’m pretty happy to win a race like this, with tough, windy conditions. It’s pretty cool,” said the 32-year-old, who won once previously.
In the women’s race, Demacon’s Carla Oberholzer took her first Satellite Championship title in 3:07:07 after getting the better of former Olympian Joanna van de Winkel and Yzette Oelofse in the dash to the line.
The three were part of a breakaway that formed 30km in and it was Van de Winkel who called the shots on Hekpoort as she left both of her rivals behind.
“Jo made the pace really hard and I was the first to drop off, before Yzette did too,” said the 30-year-old Oberholzer, who won the Jock Tour last month.
She continued to push hard and was able to reel Oelofse in before the top and from there they collaborated to bring Van de Winkel back with 2km to go, where it came down to a sprint to the line.
“My teammates were absolutely amazing today. They did a phenomenal job protecting me and keeping me out of the wind so I’m really happy to pull off another win for Demacon.”