The BCX sprinter first won the Durban road race in 2011 after a long run of near misses and bad luck. Since then he has gone on to win it repeatedly and, as a result, has many fond memories to look back on.
In 2004 the then up-and-coming U23 was a hair’s breadth from victory, but Jacques Fullard had the edge and took the win. Despite the close shave, Hoffman said his debut at the event was part of the reason the race was so special to him.
“It was so close to call that they ultimately gave it to Jacques, but it was something everyone was talking about,” he said.
“I think that’s why I’ve grown to love the race – it’s made me popular and it’s a challenging race.”
Looking back, Hoffman said the Amashova occupied a special place on his calendar as it played a part in the overall shift of success in his career.
“It took me a long time to win a race. I was always second or third and quite unlucky, then eventually things started to go my way.
“I think my first win at Amashova was my fourth win in a row if I remember correctly.”
His 2015 victory, when he was riding with Abantu, was a second stand-out occasion, thanks to textbook performances from his teammates.
“We went with five guys into the last kilometre and I had the most perfect lead-out one could get as a sprinter. It was like the stuff you see at the Tour de France,” he recalled fondly.
“It was the best sprint, one of the most dominating, that I’ve done in the Amashova. It was our race to lose but we were literally untouchable that day.”
But why return over and over? Hoffman said winning the same event was not something that grew old if you continued to deserve it.
“Each year I go into the race with the same sort of motivation – to try and win. It never gets boring if you’re winning and you know you’ve done 150 per cent effort and training beforehand.”
After bagging titles at the Cycle4Cansa in August and the Satellite Championship last weekend, it will take an extremely fast and motivated rider to beat the 32-year-old in the 106km road race on Sunday.
Hoffman was confident of his chances on the back of his recent form and intimate knowledge of the route.
“I feel confident to say the condition is good, it’s where I expect it to be, and the confidence is high so I expect to be a real contender on the weekend.”