Reinardt second in Tour | SASCOC - SASCOC

Reinardt second in Tour

By Mark Etheridge

Reinardt Janse van Rensburg improved on his fourth place in the recent Herald Sun Tour in Australia when he ended runner-up in the Tour of Hainan in China on Friday.

The young Pretoria rider started the final stage of 88.2 kilometres in Sanya in second but with little realistic chance of catching General Classification (GC) leader, Valenitn Iglinskiy of the Astana team.

“Today was about defending my second spot,” Janse van Rensburg told Road to London 2012 shortly after the race ended. “I’m very happy and proud to have done it.

“It was very unlikely that I would have been able to win as I needed to get all the bonus seconds on the road and at the finish, while Iglinskiy got only 1sec or nothing… and riding away on the long circuit with two top teams(Astana and Skill) controlling would be very difficult. So instead we helped to keep things under control along with the two teams.

“I managed to get second in the second hotspot which gave me an extra 2sec cushion over my nearest rivals. But at the finish I was too far back and had to do too much in the wind to be competitive, especially as Skill-Shimano had a perfect lead-out once more so I think I finished around seventh spot. I’m obviously a little disappointed to not win a stage but I still surpassed by expectations in this race and am very proud.”

And the MTN-Qhubeka rider can be proud. A nasty crash in the early stages of the race meant that nearly missed out on even finishing. “It was quite bad, a guy lost balance just before a hotspot and ploughed into me and causing me to get flung onto my back and I hit the back of my head really hard.

“I was quite confused, dizzy and nauseous afterwards but I managed to finish in the bunch. I went to hospital for a CT scan afterwards and thankfully that confirmed that I was OK and could continue to race.”

Janse van Rensburg eventually ended 13sec down on Iglinskiy and increased his lead to seven seconds over third-placed Alexander Schmitt of Germany.

The MTN-Qhubeka team ended 12th of the 19 teams entered. Next up for Janse van Rensburg will be the OFM event in the Free State, then African Championships in Eritrea and finally the 94.7.

“Then hopefully a nice holiday! I had a wonderful few weeks racing in Australian and China, winning a stage at Herald Sun, fourth in the GC and second in the points and again second in the GC here. This shows that South Africans are good enough to compete against World Tour level riders.”