Cape Town tour overshadowed by two fatalities
Nolan Hoffman wins, but grief clouds his victory as two cyclists die
Local cyclist Nolan Hoffman won the Cape Town Cycle Tour on Sunday, but the 40th edition of the race was overshadowed by the deaths of two cyclists.
Race director David Bellairs confirmed this on Sunday.
"The first was a trauma incident just before 9am on the M3 southbound in which a group of 20 cyclists were involved in a pile-up. One of the cyclists succumbed to the injuries he sustained. His family has asked that we respect their privacy at this time and we will not be releasing his name," he said.
"In the second incident a male participant succumbed to a suspected heart attack at Smitswinkel Bay at 10.22am. Once again, we are not releasing his name."
Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust said: "Our most sincere condolences go out to the families of both these participants."
More than 30‚000 cyclists took part in Sunday’s race.
Franschhoek-born Hoffman, who won his third title, clocked 2hr 37min 30sec for the 109km voyage around the peninsula.
New Zealand Olympian Sam Gaze, who won the UCI MTB World Cup race in Stellenbosch on Saturday, was a close second with Reynard Butler of ProTouch third in the same time.
"What can I say? Incredible work by our boys today. It was our race to lose, but we pulled it off," said Hoffman, who rides for Team BCX.
Hoffman and his team rode a textbook bunch sprint, which resulted in him appearing out of the group in perfect fashion.
"The team was incredible today. This has been our biggest objective for the year. The boys rode out of their skins and I’m just really pleased how it all played out," he said, heaping praise on his team for their performance in the mad dash for the line.
"We played a poker-face game," he said. "We had Steven van Heerden in the break, so we knew we didn’t have to work too hard in the bunch."
In the women’s race Demacon’s Kim le Court crossed the line first ahead of Namibia’s Vera Adrian and track star Maroesjka Matthee in a bunch sprint.
Seven-time winner Anriette Schoeman ended fourth.
Le Court, of Mauritius, stopped the clock at 2:11:50 for the 76km women’s distance.
"This is the one race that everyone wants to win, I’ve had a year of podiums and it’s great to finally stand on the top step," said Le Court.
"My team-mate Lynette [Burger] was in the break from the start and that was exactly as we had planned."