Cape Town - Defending Coronation Double Century champions,
team Active Bodies, will once again bring a highly experienced squad to
Swellendam on Saturday, November 24.
They’re unlikely to have it all their own
way, however, with the elite men’s race shaping up to be an interesting one
Active Bodies - as with many of the top contending teams - is a composite of riders
from other pro teams. This year it is once again spearheaded by Bradley
Potgieter who raced in the National colours at the Commonwealth Games in 2018,
as well as National Team members Clint Hendricks of BCX and Willie Smit of
Katusha-Alpecin. It includes much of the 2017 winning squad, with the likes of
Kent Main, Dawid Maree and Jayde Julius on duty. As well as the addition of
seasoned campaigners HB Kruger and Shaun-Nick Bester who came over from
Coronation Double Century 2017 runners-up, Alfa Bodyworks/Giant.
The team rode an exceptionally smooth race in 2017 and
worked well as a unit to finish in a record time of 04:30:12, this according to
“We still had 11 guys until about 25km to go and only lost riders
from there to the finish, because of the punctures,” he said.
While Active Bodies will be out to repeat their
2017 endeavours, Alfa Bodyworks/Giant will be looking to shed the
‘bridesmaid’ moniker (they finished second in 2016 as well). The outfit has
something of a new look this year and features prolific sprinter Nolan Hoffman,
his BCX team mates Steven van Heerden and Marc Pritzen as well as Shameeg
Salie, Stefan de Bod, Nicol Carstens and Rohan du Plooy. The outfit is also
bolstered by Dimension Data’s journeyman, Jacques Janse van Rensburg who has
done duty in various Grand Tours and finished second to Daryl Impey at the 2018
National Road Champs. Janse van Rensburg’s experience will no doubt be a key
factor in the team’s strategy over the 202km course, which starts and finishes
However, if Alfa Bodyworks/Giant and Active
Bodies go in as the two favourites, the outcome is far from a foregone
conclusion with perhaps any of the top four teams capable of the win on the
Look out for dark horses such as team Mad Macs pb
häzz out of Stellenbosch, who surprised many in 2017 to finish in third and
will be gunning for a podium finish. Also, always dangerous is Bluff Meat
Supply, which includes Myles van Musschenbroek from Pro Touch among other
SA road pros. Private Client Holdings is back once again, as is the ASG
Factory team. Freewheel Cycology Racing, although made up largely of
‘retired’ pros could also be in with a shout on the day if the likes of Charlie
Keey, Stoff van Heerden, Chris Wolhuter and Raymond Cox fire on all cylinders.
The women’s category will see new champions in 2018,
with the teams of Flashie Ladies - who have experienced mountain bike
racers such as Mariske Strauss, Ischen Stopforth, Hanlie Booyens and Fienie Barnard
as the backbone of their team - Pure Savage Ladies and STS/
Specialized Women are also vying for the crown. The top women’s teams will
once again start earlier in 2018 giving them a clearer road to race.
The Mixed category is always hotly contested and 2018
will be no different. The all-star Breitling Premier team has in its
ranks Nicholas Dlamini from Dimension Data, multiple mountain bike world
champion Nino Schurter as well as current Ironman 70.3 world champion Jan Frodeno
and the highly experienced Lise Olivier. Pure Savage Mixed is
marshalled by multiple Coronation Double Century winner David Garret and is
bound to be a fast unit, as is Aurecon.
While the first team to get six riders across the line
in each category will be crowned champions, the Charles Milner medal goes to
each full team of 12 riders which finish inside the allocated 10 hours. It’s a
tough one to call this year as most teams make the decision on the day, as the
race plays out, whether to shed riders or push for the 12-rider finish.
To keep informed of developments of the Coronation
Double Century, join their Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/CoronationDC, follow @TheCoronationDC on Twitter www.twitter.com/TheCoronationDC or follow @CoronationDC on Instagram.