Tiffany Keep and Nolan Hoffman claimed victory at the Herald Continental Cycle Tour 106km Coastal Classic race on Sunday, 24 February 2019.
Tiffany Keep, 18, made a memorable debut by beating Nelson Mandela Bay’s Anriette Schoeman to take the women’s title. The KwaZulu-Natal riderfinished the race in 3:09:56, followed by Schoeman in 3:09:57. Third place went to Frances Janse van Rensburg, also in a time of 3:09:57.
The Varsity College student has vowed to come back to defend her title in 2020. Asked what she had done right to win the race, Keep said: “I think I raced cleverly. “In the past, I used to sit in the front the whole way because I come from a mountain bike background and that is really the only tactic I know. “I think I applied a bit more of a tactical approach to this race today.”
“It was my first attempt at it and I am very happy with how it went. I really didn’t know what to expect because I have never raced in this part of the country before. It was actually very nice for me to have a change of scenery and I really enjoyed racing along the coastline of PE with a good bunch of girls. I am super stoked that my sprint paid off and I was able to cross the line first. I’ll try my best to be back next year. I really enjoyed the race and I only have good things to say about this event. I’ll definitely recommend it to everyone back home.”
Tiffany described racing alongside the likes of Bay legend Anriette Schoeman as well as Yolande de Villiers and others as unreal, saying these were women she had looked up to as a junior cyclist.
DNS Sports sprinter Nolan Hoffman edged Ryan Harris by a split second to bag yet another 106km Herald Continental Cycle Tour victory in the men’s elite race. Hoffman and Harris crossed the finish line neck-and-neck in two hours, 32 minutes and 14 seconds. Gustav Basson was third and credited with the same time.
Hoffman, 32, said the 2019 race was probably the hardest he had ever done. “If you were thinking of giving up then you had lost the race already,” the multiple former champion said.
“I just had to put my head down and hope the guy in front of me was holding the wheel. Fortunately, I managed to stay with Clint Hendricks because I know he is a strong rider in the crosswinds. It worked out well.”
Despite the win, the Capetonian said he was not 100% his best in terms of fitness, but it was just a matter of sharpening the pencil as all the work had been done.
“I am happy with the way I was on the hills and the climbing,” Hoffman said. “That is a positive and it was a boost in the right direction for the upcoming races.” Reflecting on the race, Hoffman said: “It looked like it was going to rain in the beginning and then the mist just cleared and it was a sunny day.“
About 20km into the race there was no wind, nothing. Then all of a sudden it just came out of nowhere and it was blowing the guys to the side on the road.
“PE never seems to disappoint – it can be rainy and then all of a sudden the sun is out and then the wind blows. But that makes for really good cycling conditions and it makes the race exciting. You always have to concen – trate on what you need to do. If you are too far back and m i ss a breakaway, you can lose out. I didn’t dare look back even once because when we came into the last kilometre, I only saw 10 guys that were left in the group. That happened in a matter of 500m.”
The Herald and Weekend Post editor Nwabisa Makunga celebrated the successful hosting of the 34th Herald Cycle Tour. “We are grateful to the community of Nelson Mandela Bay as well as the cycling comm unity, ” she said.
“To all our riders who came out, participated and enjoyed themselves, they are the real champions of this event.” Continental Tyre South Africa managing director Shaun Uys said the organising team had again outdone themselves. “Race organisation has been getting better year on year.
“The race village was filled with spectators and I can only see it getting better as the years continue, ” Uys said.