Renowned as a sprinter, Nolan Hoffman says he is keen to prove a point when he defends his title in the Bestmed Satellite Classic cycling road race on Saturday.
The 110km feature event near Hartbeespoort Dam in North West Province provides a challenging route, which includes the infamous Hekpoort climb towards the end of the race.
The 33-year-old Hoffman showed his ability by taking the title last year and said he was motivated to repeat that effort.
“At this stage of my career I always have a lot of motivation for these sorts of races,” said the Cape Town Cycle Tour champion. “I’m not necessarily the favourite on the bookies’ list, but I like to prove people wrong.
“That gives me motivation to do well again and this is a big race in our programme.
“It’s a hard route and provides a very good indication of where you are at this stage of the season.
“If you can get a good result here, it’s confirmation that you have done the hard work and are on track for this period of the road-racing season.”
Hoffman said BCX had a number of cards to play on race day, while he expected a strong challenge from ProTouch, who included Reynard Butler, Jayde Julius and Gustav Basson.
He added that officeguru, led by the experienced Dylan Girdlestone, could also feature prominently.
Carla Oberholzer, riding for Demacon Ladies Team, will also be defending her title and said the race would be a good indication of her conditioning at this stage of the year.
“I haven’t been racing for a while but this is an important event for us and I would love to defend the title,” said the SA road champion.
“We always race to win, but after much indoor training, I have only been out on the road in the last week so I’m not quite sure of my form at this stage.”
She felt that the 4km Hekpoort climb would always be a major factor in the final outcome of the Satellite Classic.
“But now, as was the case last year, it is nearer to the end and that makes a big difference.”