Team Abantu claimed victory in the 109 km Momentum Weekend Argus Knysna Cycle Tour presented by Rotary road race, the second major event of this year’s Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival.
The race was over in just 2:43:57 for winner Nolan Hoffman with teammate Reynard Butler a hair’s breadth behind him in second. Third was Stefan Ihlenfeldt, recording a time which was just milliseconds behind the two leaders.
Hoffman was delighted with his win. “I’ve done this race many times before and I know exactly where the finish is and I positioned myself quite well. I managed to snuck onto the inside of the group and started my sprint as I exited the turn and just put my head down and went flat out for the line. Luckily for me today I had the legs to do a good sprint so I’m super happy.”
Defending ladies champion Anriettte Schoeman who beat Lise Olivier (2:58:31) and Carmen Buchacher (2:58:32) with a time of 2:58:30, said that she was really grateful for today’s victory.
“Health-wise I’ve had a tough year and I had to dig deep. This is my first proper race since Argus – after the Cape Epic I had a bit of an iron deficiency and then I fell on a MTB race and had to have an operation to remove a devil thorn from my hand two weeks ago and I still have stitches, so I’m really grateful for this win.
“You kind of forget how hard it is and how deep you have to dig but luckily muscle memory comes back and I just had to grit my teeth. Lise is a phenomenal climber and as long as I can keep up with her I know I’m okay!
“I absolutely love this race – the hospitality and the vibe are fantastic and that’s why I keep coming back.”
Race Director Elwin Thomspon of Knysna Rotary said that the route is exciting and challenging. “We introduced this route in 2014 and it has 1,577 m of climbing and was designed to keep the riders working all the way.”
The route takes riders westward along the Knysna lagoon road, up Katerneck and down into Gouna Valley then towards Sedgefield along the N2. Turnaround is in Sedgefield, about 24 km out of Knysna. Riders then cycle East on the N2 until the Karatara/Barrington turnoff, where they begin a steady climb past plantation and forest to the turnaround just before the historic town of Karatara. Then it’s downhill back to the Barrington turnoff, up Barrington hill, with turnaround at about 72km, down to the N2 and back to Knysna.