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Reinardt rules in Oz
- Updated: October 13, 2011
By Mark Etheridge
All Africa Games time trial champion Reinardt Janse van Rensburg had his first win away from the continent on Thursday when he won the second stage of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour in Australia.
Sixth on day one of the tour, the MTN-Qhubeka rider won a bunch finish to take honors in the 140.6-kilometre stage from Ballarat to Geelong.
The 22-year-old Pretoria rider said after Wednesday’s stage that the team were hoping to win a stage before the race ended on Sunday and his thoughts turned prophetic.
With the 10-second bonus earned by winning the stage, he has now moved up to fourth place in the General Classification, 22 seconds behind Aussie Rhys Pollock of the Drapac Professional Cycling outfit.
Among his victims on Thursday were pre-race favourite Baden Cooke of the Saxo Bank – SunGard team. It’s been a great last 12 months for the up and coming Janse van Rensburg. Earlier this year he took stage honors twice in the Tour du Maroc and also won the opening stage of the Tour of Rwanda. Then at the UCI World Road Championships in Copenhagen last month he was South Africa’s highest placed finisher after his 17th spot in the Under-23 road race.
“This is my first win out of Africa, I’m very happy,” he said, while also paying tribute to team-mate Dennis van Niekerk. “I was feeling really good all day, I was in [the] break yesterday and I was a bit jetlagged. I had a good night’s rest and felt brilliant.
“That last kilometre or so was quite steep and that suits me perfectly,” he explained. “My team-mates took me from 40th to 10th and when I kicked, I knew there was no-one on my wheel, so it was perfect. For the past couple of weeks in South Africa we’ve been riding so well together, it’s 100 per cent commitment.”
Arran Brown was South Africa’s next best finisher in 25th spot, Van Niekerk took 29th and with Bradley Potgieter 40th, Dylan Girdlestone 53rd (he celebrated his 22nd birthday in Australia this week), and Namibian Loto Petrus 87th, made up the rest of the MTN-Qhubeka contingent. The team currently lie sixth after stage two.
Friday’s third stage features an undulating 172.6 kilometre ride from Geelong to Drysdale, the longest stage of the race.