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Dennis to race Argus
- Updated: March 6, 2012
Our best-placed cyclist at the Tour of Langkawi, Dennis van Niekerk swops Malaysia for the Mother City when he lines up for the Cape Argus cycle tour on Sunday, writes Mark Etheridge.
Van Niekerk, a specialist climber by nature, ended ninth on the GC at the Tour of Langkawi.
He also helped his MTN-Qhubeka outfit to third place in the team competition. But now he has to switch attention from 10 tough stages to one all-systems go event.
“I finished 10th on the sixth stage of Langkawi, which was the climb up to Genting Highlands,” said Van Niekerk. “After the stage I was ninth on GC and all we had to do is race to secure the position. After the stage we also saw that we were fourth team overall and there was a chance that we could move into third or even second. Then on stage seven Jacques [Janse van Rensburg] went into a break, the only break away of the tour that survived to the finish.
“After stage seven we were third team overall, one second in front of fourth. We had to really stay focused on that third position while still trying to get a few more top 10 stage finishes and be in the race.”
This was Van Niekerk’s third Tour de Lankawi. The 27-year-old Kroonstad-born rider having finished 18th in 2008 and then fourth last year. “It is a really good tour for me and it is one of my favourite events of the racing season.”
As for The Argus, and Van Niekerk says the team are certainly out to win it. “Of the team in Langkawi only Meron Russom of Eritrea are in Cape Town. The rest of the team are Arran Brown, Bradley Potgieter, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Calvin Beneke, JC Nel and Tsgabu Grmay of Ethiopia.”
“The team is going to try and win the race as it will be our last race in South Africa before we leave for the Tour of Morocco and then Europe after that till the 12th of June.”