Prominent South African road and track cyclist Nolan Hoffman wants increasingly to play a mentoring role, to teach and inspire up-and-coming cyclists while still riding competitively.
The 34-year-old gave no hint that he intended hanging up his wheels anytime soon, but said he felt a strong inclination to imbue new cycling talent in the country with his passion for racing.
“My goals have changed slightly as I want to help develop younger riders who are coming up in the world of cycling.”
He said he had noticed that younger riders tended to benefit more when someone with experience rode with them.
“It’s more a hands-on approach than managing a team from the car, so through me racing with them it will help them learn faster.”
Hoffman, who won his third Cycle4Cansa road title recently, said there were quite a few aspiring young riders who currently stood out for him.
“The OfficeGuru U23 team is filled with talent. They’ve really impressed me on the road so far this year. They ride strong as a team.
“Then ProTouch are doing big things for SA cyclists racing on the international stage in Europe and Africa.
“On the track side, Jonathan Bouwer is a rider who has huge potential.”
He said as he continued to race locally, mentor young riders and grow teams to provide opportunities, he also had other important goals.
“The scratch race at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships is something I’d like to go back and try again,” said Hoffman, who competed in this race at the 2012, 2013 and 2014 world champs, winning silver in 2012.
Although currently focused on the road, he said he would continue to combine it with the track discipline as he enjoyed both equally.
“My results have been mediocre so far this year though, but I’m hoping to turn that around in the coming block of racing.
“Amashova remains my goal, but 947 still continues to elude and that will be a big goal this time.
“947 is the first prize to make my season successful,” said Hoffman, who has seven Amashova titles under his belt.
“I still see myself as a professional rider and still have the same passion for racing [as always]. I want to continue with that and will take it season by season, as I’m not getting any younger.”
Hoffman, who won his seventh Herald Cycle Tour this year, has also recently started mountain biking.
“It was always something I had talked about doing and I’m now finally exploring a bit of the off-road [discipline].
“It’s completely different to what we do on the road and track, but I’m up for the challenge.
“Mathieu van der Poel motivated me to do it,” said Hoffman, referring to the Dutchman who is a cyclo-cross rider, mountain-biker and road cyclist.
“However, it’s too late for me to be mixing it up with the top names in the country.
“I’m built for the road and track so I’ll be a mountain-biking fun racer.”