Having notched up four Elite Men’s Scratch Race titles in the last four years Team Abantu track ace Nolan Hoffman added a fifth title to his collection when he claimed the spoils ahead of teammate David Maree in the Scratch at the 2015 South African National Track Championships at the Hector Norris Park on Friday.
The Men’s Scratch was a hard fought event with the two teammates fighting it out for the gold medal with a number of attacks coming from Maree. Hoffman was able to counter these attacks and make a few of his own through the race but it was eventually the more experienced Hoffman who was able to hold off his teammate for the win.
It was a strong performance from the Team Abantu pair with Team Europcar’s Ryan Gibbons coming in in third place and claiming the bronze medal in an exciting race and at a stage it seemed that Maree might steal the victory but the man who has won the event four-times in a row proved to be too good.
Cycling SA Para-cycling Commission Director, Dr Mike Burns, was very happy with the results coming from the handful of Para-cyclists that have been taking part in the SA Champs and he is hugely grateful to the organisers for letting them race in the same champs and the able-bodied riders.
“Firstly I just want to extend a massive thank you to the event organisers for giving the Para-riders the chance to compete in the same championships. It has been a great experience for them to be able to be involved in such a massive event.
“We have four or five riders taking part in the event and I have been really impressed with the results that the riders have been achieving throughout the event,” Burns added.
There are a few stalwart names when it comes to Para-track and road racing in South Africa with the most popular being Roxy Burns who has achieved on the international stage and Mike Burns was impressed by the achievements of his names-sake at the event.
“The stand-out rider for me was Roxy. She produced some great times and she even beat one of her World Championship times that was set recently and this was on the Hector Norris track, which is an outdoor track!
“She just missed out on a World Record but she managed to set a new South African record along with Dane Wilson who was also very impressive at the championships and also broke a South African record,” he added.
The other name that has been prevalent in Para-cycling in the past few months especially is Craig Ridgard. The road specialist also performed well at the national track championships as he builds up for a big season in Europe on the Road circuit.
“Craig has been using the track nationals as a good way of getting his speeds up for the Road World Cup series in Europe coming up soon. He is a strong track rider although the road is where he is strongest and we are hoping for big things from him when he heads over to Europe to take on the world’s best!” an excited Burns mentioned.
With the stalwarts proving to be at the top of their game it is difficult for the younger riders to come in and make an impression but Burns feels that there is one young rider that has and will make impressions on Para-cycling in the years to come.
“We took young Juan Odendaal to the World Champs this year just to give him a taste of what competing on the biggest stage would be like and although he didn’t register the best times I am sure that he learnt a lot!
“He is only 18 years old and still has a huge amount of hard work to put into his riding but I feel that in two to three years he will be right on top of his game and we will be talking about him and a potential national champion,” Burns explained.
For more information and to view the full results from each day, please visit http://www.cyclingsa.com/2015-sa-track-champs
C4 Women Time Trial (500m)
1.Roxy Burns 43.23
C3 Men Time Trial (1000m)
1.Juan Odendaal 1:26.72
C4 Men Time Trial (1000m)
1.Werner van Onselen 1:23.06
C5 Men Time Trial (1000m)
1.Dane Wilson 1:13.36