As day 2 of the Takealot Tour of Goodhope started under sombre circumstances due to the tragic death of a motorcycle marshal on the first day of the tour, the riders paid their respects to her by wearing small black bows pinned on their riding vests and also raising their helmets in her memory. Not something you see every day, as most commuters see cyclists as being selfish persons using the road every single day while they are out training.
Social media was buzzing with commuters complaining about traffic jams on the first day of the tour, forgetting what a huge event this is, running up to the penultimate day, which is the Cape Town cycle tour on Sunday 10th of March. With riders from across the country, and across the world gracing us with their bright sparkly kit, and bikes clicking with the distinct sound of state of the art group sets, Day 2 started off with a crisp breeze in the air. The race favourite and stage 1 winner Nolan Hoffman in his bright yellow leader’s jersey, ready to take on the day. In the lady’s race, the leader after an eventful first stage, Ariane Luthi with her bright smile could also be seen in her yellow jersey as leader going into the next stage.
Running up to the start of the race, as reported, the organisers had to do route changes due to road works in the areas of where the stages would go through, resulting in Franschhoek and the Du Toits kloof pass being excluded from this year’s race. I am sure the sprinters would be relieved about this! The last stage will however include the infamous Taal Monument in Paarl, which could make or break any rider’s race. Stage 2, set at a long haul of 114km, would see the riders starting at Boland Landbou Skool again, which offered the opportunity for kids in the area to see some of their local heroes, whizzing past right on their doorstep as they would pass by. With this in mind, may every little boy and girl be inspired by these riders and their abilities.
Stage 2 tended to be an unpredictable stage, as it was only the beginning of a full week of racing. The stage ended in a hot sprint to the finish again, with the race leader in hot pursuit. Building off stage 1, the race leader at this point, Nolan Hoffman (Enza Construction) had the following remarks, after he won Stage 1:
”Stage 1 was a dream start for us at the Tour. With such a short stage we knew that I had a chance for the win, so we took responsibility of keeping the group together for a bunch sprint. With only 1 rider from CyclePower in the breakaway to control and bring back in the last 10km. It was game on from there for the sprint, my teammate put me in 3rd wheel with 200m to go and I did a really good sprint to hold off the competition”
‘’ Today’s stage was a bit harder than yesterday, we took a bit of a conservative approach to the racing and didn’t put anyone in the breakaway. The last km was really tough, the Namibian, Dan Craven, took a last minute attack and his acceleration derailed our leadout train. The TEG boys took advantage of the group being on the limit and they launched Gustav at a perfect spot with 400m to, I managed to scramble for 3rd spot.
Tomorrow’s TTT will probably see me losing Yellow, but I will be able to be in Green still. So the Green Jersey fight will be become my focus for the remainder of the tour then.
Clint Hendricks, also one of the local race favourites, however had a slower finish to Stage 2: ‘’The team did not race too aggressively, a small group were in the breakaway so his team, Pro touch, could relatively control this break. The end was eventually a sprint, but a bit of timing caused the sprint to be too long. The team trial on Wednesday, will be a big factor in determining the overall GC (General Classification) and should open up the race a bit more with time splits, all depending on placing of teams after the time trail. Placing after the time trial will also decide who needs to make up time for the rest of the week, so a very big day!’’
Stage 3, the team time trial is set to kick off again, from Boland Landbouskool, in the heart of Paarl, with a short testing distance of 26.5km. Hopefully the wind does not rear its nasty head, as that will surely play a huge role in tomorrow’s stage.
Race results on for Stage 2 (ladies):
- Maja Wloszczowska
- Ariane Luthi
- Catherine Colyn
Race results on for Stage 2 (elite men):
- Gustav Basson
- Yousif Mirza
- Nolan Hoffman
Live feeds can be found on the tour’s twitter account. Please follow:@tourofgoodhope for the latest news during the race every day.
This is the closest you will get to your local, or international cycling sensations, so go and support our local stars. Please adhere to the rules of the road and the traffic officials as you make your way to the event to show your support, but most importantly respect our cyclists.