Nolan Hoffman won the elite men’s omnium-scratch event in the 2017 African Continental Track Championships at the Cyril Geoghegan Stadium yesterday.
Fellow South African Calvin Beneke took second, while Algeria’s Yacine Chalel snatched third.
“I really didn’t expect that the legs would be turning as well as they have been, so I’m happy to take that,” said Hoffman.
He added that the new format of the omnium event (four races per event instead of six) is an intense one.
“It’s really made for intensive aggressive racing and it looks like I’ve been handling myself quite well. I’m looking forward to going into the second part of it,” he said.
With the new format, after five laps, the first rider across the line after each laps gets one point thereafter.
“For the riders it’s a bit of a mess – you really have to focus on what you’re doing, but I think it’s definitely a spectator-friendly event. It’s absolute flat-out, aggressive racing from the start,” said Hoffman.
Riding in the elite category for his first year, U23 rider Joshua van Wyk said that he would be focusing on the endurance events.
“So far its been going well. I qualified third in my individual pursuit. And will be riding against Morocco next,” he said.
Van Wyk currently lies in third place tied with Clint Hendricks and Evan Carstens in the elite men’s omnium points so far.
“I’m really chuffed because in the omnium event with four events and judged on points at the end, the overall winner will get the gold medal, and I’m really that I will be able to make more points and get into a podium position,” said Van Wyk.
The elite women’s individual pursuit also took place in the morning session, which saw Egypt’s Ebtissam Zayed ahead of Charlene du Preez and Danielle van Niekerk in second and third place respectively.
The afternoon events were suspended due to the death of Egyptian cyclist Eslam Nasser Zaki, who was taking part in the elite men’s omnium-tempo race when he suddenly fell off his bicycle and after prolonged attempts to resuscitate him, he was declared dead.