SA 1-2 in Morocco | SASCOC - SASCOC

SA 1-2 in Morocco

South African cyclists took first and second spots in Sunday’s third stage of the Tour du Maroc in Morocco, writes Mark Etheridge.

Riding for the MTN-Qhubeka outfit, Arran Brown and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg came out tops after four and half hours of tough riding.

Brown celebrated his 27th birthday on Saturday which saw the second stage of the 10-leg event being neutralised and the win would have come as much-appreciated belated birthday gift.

Janse van Rensburg, current All Africa Games time trial champion and winner of the Argus Pick n Pay tour earlier this month, had won Friday’s opening stage of the tour.

Sunday’s third stage was a 163 kilometre ride between Fes and Khenifra and the MTN Qhubeka team were out to maintain their 38 second advantage in the individual and team general classifications.

Janse van Rensburg had the handicap of having to deal with not one but two punctures but teamwork meant that he didn’t lose any time or position.

The team had to do some hard chasing for the majority of the stage after a Morrocan and French rider snuck off to an early lead and extended it to over three minutes at one stage.

But Martin Wesemann, Dennis van Niekerk, Bradley Potgieter and Meron Russom did the donkeywork to keep Brown, winner of the 94.7 Tour in Johannesburg late last year, and Janse van Rensburg shielded from the wind and allow them to use their powerful finishes to good effect, something that the sprinters acknowledge after the stage triumph.

Brown also won stage three of last year’s Tour du Maroc. Monday’s fourth stage is a 144km ride from Kh├®nifra to Midelt.