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Reinardt’s run continues

By Mark Etheridge

One of South Africa’s rising road stars, All Africa Games time-trial champion Reinardt Janse van Rensburg already has two titles under his belt two months into 2012.

The Pretoria youngster, who rides for the MTN-Qhubeka outfit, had a breakthrough 2011 with a stage win in the Herald Sun Tour in Australia. He went on to end fourth on the General Classification (GC) and then placed second on the GC in the Tour of Hainan in China.

So far this year he’s won the Emperor’s Palace Classic and Berge en Dale events, both in the Gauteng area.

His Emperors Palace came despite him crashing to the tar with less than seven kilometres to ride while his most recent win was the Berge en Dale last weekend. “It was nice racing on Saturday for a change, it frees up the weekend a bit which gives us bit of time to socialise on Saturdays,” said Janse van Rensburg.

Raced over 100km, the event saw no one group of racers gaining any real advantage and with an uphill drag to the finish and a bunch sprint inevitable, Janse van Rensburg fancied his chances. “The attacks continued all the way, but no other move was able to get any advantage. Through the cradle the pace increased once again and on each hill the bunch would split and regroup as┬ámore and┬ámore┬águys were eliminated, but once again no-one could gain┬áany real┬áadvantage and a bunch sprint was inevitable. To my surprise the bunch was still rather large (around┬á40-50 riders)┬áas we approached the final drag up to the finish.

“The slight uphill claimed a lot of riders as the bunch┬ácompletely disintegrated. My team did an excellent┬áin controlling the attacks and Dennis van Niekerk┬ádid a good job as final lead-out┬áman.┬áThe final┬áwas like a pure┬ádrag race as Herman Fouche┬á(Bonitas) and┬áI were┬áneck and neck, but I managed to pip him in the final few metres.”

The victory also brought fond memories for Janse van Rensburg. “Berge┬áen Dale was my first race win as an elite, when I beat Daryll┬áImpey┬áto the line, riding for Barloworld in┬áthose days. It brought nice memories back to win it again.”

“My form is good right now” Janse van Rensburg told Road to London 2012 this week, “and yeah I am riding much stronger compared to the same time last year. I think the international results have given me a lot of depth and confidence.

Some of his MTN-Qhubeka team-mates are in faraway Malaysia, settling in ahead of the Tour of Langkawi but Janse van Rensburg is staying local for the moment.

“I’m going to national road championships [Nelspruit, Mpumalanga] from 1-4 March. Its quite important to me and I have a good chance in both the time trial and road race.”


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