South African professional cyclist Hanco Kachelhoffer has come out in support of the two-day stage race concept he will experience in the Sanlam MTB Invitational at Rhebokskloof Wine Estate near Paarl on November 19 and 20.
After being staged as a one-day event in its first two years, race organisers ASG Events developed a two-stage format, providing the entrants a weekend outing of 60km on the first day, followed by a 40km stage.
Having switched his focus from road cycling to mountain biking, Kachelhoffer believes they are on the right track.
“I think the two-day idea makes sense, obviously tying in with a weekend,” said the 31-year-old Altech Autopage Pro Cycling rider.
“Often there is so much excitement for a one-day race and then the next day there is nothing. Placing it over two days gives it another dimension.”
Kachelhoffer said he felt that two or three-day events were perfectly suited to cycling in South Africa.
“I think everyone loves the shorter multiday events and the two-day concept should work.”
Kachelhoffer, who was fourth in this year’s nine-day joBerg2c alongside Pieter Seyffert, said he thought the route would provide a good challenge.
“I have never done a race in the Paarl-area on a mountain bike so I don’t know it very well.
“But I have ridden on some sections in training and the single-track is fast and flowing. It should make for an exciting race.”
Although he still competed in premier road events such as the Bestmed Tour of Good Hope and Jock Tour, the former SA time-trial champion said his focus had moved to multiday mountain bike events.
“Cycling is massive globally but in South Africa mountain biking seems to be exploding, so I’m very much focused on that now.”