It is often said that if you did not win the Cape Town Cycle Tour, you haven’t won anything at all. On Sunday, Nolan Hoffman added another notch to his overachieving belt when he won the Cycle Tour, for the third time.
With 35000 racers competing, the tour is known as the world’s largest individually timed cycle race. The 32 year old Nolan won the men’s 109km race in a time of 2:37:30 with New Zealand’s Sam Gaze coming in at a close second. Racing as part of team BCX, Nolan says that his win is thanks to the team planning and executing their strategy perfectly. Nolan had previously won the cycle tour in 2014 and 2015.
Born and raised in the small Franschoek town of Groendal, Nolan attributes a large part of his cycling success to growing up on the countryside. The terrain allowed him to practice on different roads and build the endurance to cycle up steep hills with ease. However, given that everybody in Groendal played rugby, it was not easy telling his friends that he wanted to be a cyclist.
When he started cycling, the people in his community thought that he was weird for wearing tight Lycra pants instead of rugby shorts. As soon as he won his first race, all of that changed. His community rallied behind him and thanks to him, Lycra became cool. This support gave him greater confidence and he soon became one of the country’s most promising young athletes.
However, Nolan says that his first Cape Town Cycle Tour was a complete disaster. He was a 16 year old kid who had no patience and discipline. After this disaster, he decided to skip the tour for a few years and only entered once he felt he was mature enough. His second attempt was much more successful and he came second. He advises anyone wanting to be a cyclist to have have patience, exercise continuously, and build the mental endurance needed for when times gets tough.