aQuellé Tour Durban
presented by Bridge Fund Managers
by: Tim Whitfield
Team BCX hitting Tour Durban with high hopes
Durban – The winner of a cycle race might be the only person remembered,
but cycling is very much a team sport and Team BCX are looking to work
together to put one of their riders back on to the top step of the podium
when they line up at the 105km aQuellé Tour Durban, presented by Bridge
Fund Managers, on April 30.
After dominating the event for six years, Team BCX (branded as Team Telkom
until last year) have been nudged onto the second step for the past two
years with Ryan Gibbons (Eurocar) and Brad Potgieter (RoadCover) claiming
the wins in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
BCX team principal Malcolm Lange is keen to change things back to the way
they were when Nolan Hoffman and his team dominated.
“We are sending six of our riders to race: Nolan, David (Maree), Reynard
(Butler), Wes (Eslick), Steven (van Heerden) and Calvin Beneke. I think
six will be enough,” said Lange.
“The riders are in good form at the moment. We got five medals at the
track champs recently so there is nothing wrong with their speed.
“Over the years the race has proved difficult to split up and so it
normally ends up coming down to a sprint. But if somebody is away after
the riders turn back to Durban, then we will have to put the pressure on
to close the gap down.
“Our guys are all very keen to have a good race and are looking to get the
win and if they can do well it will be a good way to end the first quarter
of the season.
“The plan will probably be to try and keep it all together and set it up
for Nolan (Hoffman) to go for the sprint, but that all depends on the wind
and the other riders. If we have a guy in the break with the right
combination then we may let it go.”
Lange scoffed at suggestions Hoffman was not still competitive.
“Nolan is one of the most professional riders out there on the racing
circuit. He loves to win and he loves to ride a bike, which is always
something which I think makes for a successful rider.
“He still trains as hard as ever and certainly still has his speed. At the
Cape Town Cycle Tour I think he was in great form and was looking to go
for the win there.
“We chatted a bit before the Cycle Tour and Nolan has shed some weight,
which was a bit of a problem for him in the past, and now he is very much
a force to be reckoned with.”
And Lange had a special warning for the opposition riders hoping to take
the win at the aQuelle Tour Durban: “He also loves racing in KZN and loves
doing well and winning there.”
But the experienced team manager, who was the country’s most prolific road
cycling race winner before he retired from racing in 2011, knows that
things do not always go to plan – something that was evident last year at
the aQuelle Tour Durban.
“Team RoadCover will probably be our biggest challenge, although I am not
sure who will be at the race from their team. Brendon Davids is very
strong and I would have liked to have him in any team of mine, and Brad
Potgieter won last year – that actually was a bit of a surprise for us.
“We had David (Maree) in the same breakaway group and when they got away I
anticipated David taking it. I was happy that there was a breakaway
because I was sure David would take it.”
The 2017 aQuellé Tour Durban, presented by
Bridge Fund Managers, takes place on Sunday 30 April. More information can
be found at www.tourdurban.co.za
Click to download the hi-res
aQuellé Tour Durban
presented by Bridge Fund Managers Logo
with the likes of three-time
winner Nolan Hoffman in their ranks, Team BCX will have a strong presence
on the start line at the 2017 aQuellé Tour Durban, presented by Bridge
Fund Managers, on Sunday, 30 April.
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