The riders to watch at Cape Town Cycle Tour

Sunday 11 March sees the rerunning of the 40th instalment of the iconic Cape Town Cycle Tour. Much has been written about the wind-effected non-40th of the world’s largest timed cycle race, and, what it means for the pro peloton, is that 2016 men’s champion Clint Hendricks goes into the race as defending champion. 2016 women’s champ An-Li Kachelhoffer is not racing this year as she is expecting her first child, which means the women’s field is wide open.

Expect a few surprises on the day! Here’s who you should be looking out for on Sunday’s live streaming.

 

Clint Hendricks

 

The 2016 defending champion has had a good year so far in his new colours (Malcolm Lange’s Team BCX) winning the Herald Cycle Tour Road Race. Hendricks will be relying heavily on his team to deliver him over Chapman’s Peak and Suikerbossie and bring him to the line for a sprint. That being said, there is bound to be an interesting dynamic between him and his old sprint nemesis, and now teammate, Nolan Hoffman.

 

16 Clint Hendricks wins the 2016 Cape Town Cycle Tour - Greg Beadle.jpg
Clint Hendricks wins the 2016 Cape Town Cycle Tour. Photo credit: Greg Beadle

 

Nolan Hoffman

 

Hoffman forms the other spear in Team BCX’s two-pronged attack. If it comes down to a big bunch sprint, Hendricks might just make the perfect lead-out man for ‘The Hoff’ - SA’s most prolific sprint machine. Hoffman has two Cape Town Cycle Tour titles under his belt having claimed the win in 2014, and at the 2015 47km Solidarity Ride, and is no doubt hungry for a win. As with Hendricks, his team will be crucial to a victory.

 

Shameeg Salie

 

Alpha Bodyworks/Giant featuring Ruhan Du Plooy and the Dimension Data Continental outfit with the likes of Stefan de Bod and Kent Main all had very good showings during this week’s Tour of Good Hope and could easily get away in an early attack and cause some upsets. However, if there is one dark horse to really keep a look out for it is Shameeg Salie. This year riding in the colours of RandWater, he is due a big result and might just roll the dice early.

 

As per usual one cannot discount the now-regular crew of international mountain bikers in the country on summer training. Team Bulls big gun Karl Platt knows how to race on the road and Sam Gaze (Specialized) who won the Cape Town Cycle Tour MTB Challenge on 3 March has a serious turn of speed. Can he do the double?

 

As interesting is the women’s race for #40take2…

 

Carla Oberholzer

 

With the women having their own start at Glencairn for a 78km race, team tactics are bound to play a role and Team Demacon, featuring newly-crowned SA Road Race Champ, Carla Oberholzer, is sure to be dominant. Oberholzer rode well during the Tour of Good Hope and, with the absence of 2016 defending champion An-li Kachelhoffer, goes into the race as something of a favourite for sure. However a break could easily come early on the 78km route – at Smitswinkel – and, if Vera Adrian or Carmen Buchacher is in that break they might just stay away.

 

Anriëtte Schoeman

 

With an unprecedented seven titles under the belt, you simply cannot discount her race experience. Her last victory did come in 2013, but she’s had a good start to the year with yet another Herald Cycle Tour victory. The new women’s route might just play into her favour if the young contenders get caught out by an early break.

 

Follow the race live on:

 






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