Cup duty for SA duo | TeamSA - TeamSA

Cup duty for SA duo

By Mark Etheridge

Bernard Esterhuizen and Nolan Hoffman will saddle up for Team South Africa in the UCI Track Cycling World Cup “Classic” in Astana, Kazakhstan on 4-6 November.

With Track Cycling SA’s objective to qualify riders for the 2012 World Championships and ultimately the Olympic Games the Track Commission has strict selection criteria in place to ensure that riders are able to be competitive at these events and rake in much-needed World Champs and Olympic qualifying points.

Esterhuizen and Hoffman will be accompanied to Kazakhstan by team manager Dave Street.

Swiss based Esterhuizen won the time trial at last year’s Junior World Championships in Italy and has moved up a gear this year, making the top 24 cut in his first Elite World Championships in the Netherlands earlier this year. He also won four of the titles on offer at the national track championships this year.

Originally from Durban, Esterhuizen recently spent time back in his home town on holiday before returning to the town of Aigle where he is based for large portions of the year. “Durban was fun and it was a nice break from Switzerland,” Esterhuizen told Road to London 2012 on Monday.

“I still did full-on training while I was at home though.” On his hopes for the track season: “Well I’ll be looking to be at least top 10 at all the World Cups and top five would be awesome. In Kazakhstan I’ll just be racing in the sprint and kern.”

For his part Hoffman will be looking to build on a great run of form. He won the road race at last month’s All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique and followed that up by victory in the Amashova race from Pietermaritzburg to Durban earlier this month.

Said the Tasot team rider: “The Amashova was always one of the big races that I wanted to put my name to….. after such a successful year so far, I had super motivation to win. I spent a lot of time in Durban looking at the finish and running it over and over again. Everything went according to plan on the day, I had great support from the team. The sprint was very fast and I made few mistakes as I launched my sprint with 200m to go to stay clear of the rest.

“To top off that great result I was notified a few days later by the federation that I made the selection for the track world cup and I’ll compete in the scratch. I am very happy that the federation have showed confidence in me to go there. The track has always been my preferred discipline and I’m excited and want to give my best in order to qualify for the World Championships next year.”