aQuellé Tour Durban presented by Bridge Fund Managers Media Release

No: td1716

1 May 2017

   Embargo: None

Written by: Tim Whitfield

RoadCover hammer home the tactics at aQuellé Tour Durban

Durban – Any doubts that cycling is a team sport can be firmly dispelled after Sunday's 105km aQuellé Tour Durban presented by Bridge Fund Managers, where the respective men's and women's winners were set up for victory by some superb team tactics.

The point was strongly forced home shortly after Clint Hendricks led home a RoadCover team one-two-three. The post-race contrast between his squad and their chief rivals, Team BCX, clearly highlighted the difference when a team gets it right, and a squad misses their opportunities.

After Hendricks led Brandon Davids and Willie Smit over the line, it was all high fives and smiles, made even sweeter when defending champion and teammate Bradley Potgieter finished sixth to give the squad four out of the top six positions.

At the Team BCX team vehicle it was frowns and confusion as they tried to piece together just how their powerful squad was out-thought and out-ridden to such an extent that pre-race favourite Nolan Hoffman was left isolated and fighting for survival against three rivals.

Hoffman eventually struggled home in fourth, two minutes behind the race winner and just ahead of Dylan Girdlestone.

And after the womens race, ASG's An-Li Kachelhoffer was showering praise on her teammate Zanele Tshoko who upped the pace and forced the decisive break with with 40kms to go that allowed them to get a team one-two.

"Zanele had an awesome race and put me in the hurt box when she went at about 60km," said the experienced team leader. "But I managed to get across to her and then we just rode to the finish together."

In the men's race, RoadCover initiated an early break up the only real climb of the event, the relatively long drag up to Pinetown which starts after about 15km. Once the riders had reached the top of the climb, there were only five riders in the breakaway, the RoadCover trio, Hoffman and individual rider Girdlestone.

"Once I was in the break with the three of them then it was over," said Hoffman after the race. "It is really tough to fight three guys. We really did not expect them to be so strong. This is probably the longest breakaway that I have ever experienced in any of the Tour Durbans I have done."

What was surprising was that Team BCX could not bring the peloton back and the gap hovered at around 50 seconds from Pinetown until the RoadCover trio upped the pace with a series of attacks designed to drop Hoffman and Girdlestone with about 40km to go.

"For the race to go away so early and stay away must be the first time in the history of the running of the race.

"In cycling if you are three against one, then 100% you will lose," said a clearly disappointed Hoffman.

"I tried to stay with them for as long as possible and I thought they would go at the bottom of Umdloti. But they went way before that and if you are in a breakaway with three opposition team riders you have no place to hide. You have to follow and if you lose the wheel you are finished.

"I managed to  follow two or three attacks and after the third one I was on the limit.

"They attacked a few times and then they attacked at the bottom of the Umdloti Hill and that was the final nail in the coffin. Me and Dylan kept it at 15 to 30 seconds on the hill but from the next downhill it was over. From there fourth was the best I could have done in the situation.

"Sometimes in sport you are the hammer and sometimes you are the nail – today I was the nail," Hoffman added diplomatically.

In contrast, the RoadCover team were full of praise for each other.

"Brendon and Willie have just come from joBerg2c so they are a bit fatigued and they had to squeeze out the last bit for today. The team is in good spirits. You know this team always rides for each other – I think we have a good bond," said winner Clint Hendricks.

"We could not have asked for anything better as a team. We said at the team meeting we need to go right from the bottom of the climb and try to get a minute gap. We had 50 seconds at the top which we were happy with."

Second-placed Davids, who partnered Smit in the nine-day Old Mutual joBerg2c mountain bike race which ended in Scottburgh on Saturday, backed up the sentiments of the new champion.

"The plan played out perfectly. Our goal was to get Clint across the line first. The team was incredible today and I think that is the key to our success. We all race for each other – we don't race for individual glory."

For Girdlestone fifth was a personal triumph as the former Drapac international team rider completed just his third race since fighting back into the sport after more than a year on the sidelines with injury.

In the 55km cyclocross event, Andrew Hill and Andrew Johnson fought for the win with Hill just getting ahead on the line.

SUMMARY OF RESULTS - 2017 aQuellé Tour Durban, presented by Bridge Fund Managers
105km road race
1.Clint Hendricks 2.19.17
2.Brendon Davids 2.19.17
3.Willie Smit 2.19.17
4.Nolan Hoffman 2.21.52
5.Dylan Girdlestone 2.21.53
6.Bradley Potgieter 2.21.59
7.Myles van Musschenbroek 2.22.20
8.Jayde Julius 2.22.39
9.Steven van Heerden 2.22.39
10.David Maree 2.22.39
1.An-Li Kachelhoffer 2.59.19
2.Zanele Tshoko 2.59.19
3.Candice Parker-Dennison 3.02.20
4.Hayley Smith 3.02.20
5.Elne Owen 3.02.22
1.Ryan Harris 2.22.39

55km cyclocross
1.Andrew Hill 1.37.34
2.Andrew Johnson 1.37.34
3.Dean Wortman 1.44.28
1.Bridget Theunissen 1.53.53
2.Kathy Rees 2.02.43
3.Yoland Smith 2.06.18

45km fun ride
1.Paul Muller 1.11.01
2.Blaise Stainbank 1.11.03
3.Shibhana Sibanyoni 1.11.18
1.Chloe Bateson 1.11.22
2.Amber Schlebusch 1.13.07
3.Marina Howarth 1.23.52

More information can be found at www.tourdurban.co.za


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aQuellé Tour Durban presented by Bridge Fund Managers Logo  

Clint Wins RoadCover's Clint Hendricks takes the win with teammates Brendon Davids (left) and Willie Smit (right) following him over the line at the 2017 aQuellé Tour Durban presented by Bridge Fund Managers.

Anthony Grote /
Gameplan Media

Clint leads Eventual aQuellé Tour Durban winner Clint Hendricks (centre) with teammates Brendon Davids and Willie Smit (left) makes things difficult for individual rider Dylan Girdlestone (obscured) and lone BCX sprinter Nolan Hoffman (right).

Anthony Grote /
Gameplan Media

RoadCover Team BCX's Nolan hoffman (second from left) and individual rider Dylan Girdlestone (third) are surrounded by RoadCover riders Brendon Davids (front), Willie Smit (fourth) and eventual race winner Clint Hendricks (right) at the aQuellé Tour Durban presented by Bridge Fund Managers.

Anthony Grote /
Gameplan Media

chasers Team BCX's David Maree leads the chasing peloton as it tries in vain to catch the early breakaway group at the aQuellé Tour Durban presented by Bridge Fund Managers.

Anthony Grote /
Gameplan Media

Elite Women The leading elite women's bunch midway through the 2017 aQuellé Tour Durban presented by Bridge Fund Managers.

Anthony Grote /
Gameplan Media

Start The Elite men set off from Moses Mabhida Stadium at the start of the 2017 aQuellé Tour Durban presented by Bridge Fund Managers.

Anthony Grote /
Gameplan Media

Bridge Team BCX go to the front of the peloton to try and chase down the breaway group at the 2017 aQuellé Tour Durban presented by Bridge Fund Managers.

Anthony Grote /
Gameplan Media

Andrew Hill CX Race winner Andrew Hill (right) leads Andrew Johnson on a dirt section of the Cyclocross event at the aQuellé Tour Durban presented by Bridge Fund Managers.

Anthony Grote /
Gameplan Media

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