HB Kruger has joined Alfa Bodyworks for the first half of the 2019 season, a move that excites him due to the team’s commitment to the sport.
Kruger last year rode mainly in mountain-bike events for Ellsworth-ASG and won an assortment of races, especially in the Western Cape.
His focus with Alfa Bodyworks will shift largely to the road as the team boasts a promising array of talent for tarmac racing.
“What I really like about the owners at Alfa Bodyworks is their huge passion for the sport,” Kruger told In the Bunch today.
“They’ve built up a team pretty much from scratch to last year winning quite a few races down here in the Cape.
“The team has pretty much served as a stepping stone for riders to move forward,” he said, noting that Rohan du Plooy was such an example. He recently joined the ProTouch Continental team for this year.
Kruger added that he would like to be part of that initiative and to mentor some of the younger riders in the team “with my experience”.
The 27-year-old is no stranger to racing on the tarmac, having won the 25-mile at the end of 2017.
The Paarl local said his move to the team was “kind of a funny story”.
“I was actually approached by a different sponsor, for whom I will be riding from July on the mountain-bike.
“While that negotiation was going on I was contacted by Hannes van der Walt, manager of Alfa Bodyworks, and I told him about my situation.
“We then came to an agreement whereby I can ride for the team for the first six months. It was quite a win-win deal.”
He added that he was not yet at liberty to name the mountain-bike team for the second half of this year.
Kruger expects to play more of a supporting role for the team in the flatter races, saying Esterhuizen and Munton are both solid sprinters.
“I will be going for wins in the races with a lot of climbing.”
The Tour of Good Hope specifically, he said, would be a big objective for himself and the team.
He will race for the first time in the team’s colours at the Stellenbosch Cycle Tour on January 20.