Bloemendal, Western Cape. After some testing times recently, Nortje redeemed himself with a dominant race on Saturday. The Toyota Specialized rider animated the race from the start and found himself isolated at the front of the race very early on.
It is no secret that Tristan had terrible luck with crashes in the last two major races. Still, along with Specialized technicians and advice from friends at the Specialized Factory Racing team, he could work on the bike and equipment choice to find the perfect combination on race day. Arriving in his stylish Toyota Corolla Cross, all eyes were firmly set on the 21-year-old rider from George.
“After all the bad luck I experienced lately, I wanted to put together a good race and show myself and my sponsors what I am capable of, and today it all came together at the WP Champs. Matt and I had a great conversation ahead of the race, and he gave me some excellent advice which paid off in the race, and I am thankful to have someone with his experience in my corner.” – Tristan Nortje
The strategy was to go as hard as possible to create a gap in the competition, evaluate the race situation mid-way, and then push on to the finish. The strategy worked perfectly, and Tristan managed to put some distance between himself and the chasing riders within the first lap of the race. Then, after putting himself in a commanding position, Nortje could focus on his lines and ensure that he hit all his course markers to perfection.
“It was not the most exciting race after getting away, but I made it as hard as possible for myself, and it paid off. The Fast Track tire gave me plenty of confidence in the corners and the technical sections. This race was a great building block for SA Champs, which is my next big goal.” – Tristan Nortje
Full of confidence from his victory, Nortje will now focus on the SA XCO Championship, which takes place in Bloemfontein on the 2nd of July.