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Another SA 1-2
- Updated: March 28, 2012
By Mark Etheridge
The South African duo of Reinardt Janse van Rensburg and Arran Brown continued to dominate the Tour de Maroc on Wednesday.
The grueling event moved past the halfway mark with the fifth of 10 stages being raced, this time a 143-kilometre ride between Midelt and Errachidia.
Once again the wind was a constant factor but Janse van Rensburg blew away the opposition in the final 200m with only Brown able to maintain contact.
The two MTN-Qhubeka riders have dominated the tour thus far and between them have won all five stages, the second stage on Saturday having been neutralized.
It was a busy day in the fashion department for Janse van Rensburg as he first slipped on the stage winner’s white jersey, then grabbed green for the points win and then the most important of all, the yellow race leader’s jersey on the prize podium.
The day’s first break came from Morocco’s Tarik Chaoufi and French Velo Sport Hyerois Rasmane Ouedraogo who went clear in the stage’s first 20km. They built that gap till three minutes but with a head wind facing them for another 120km they were always going to be reeled in.
Said MTN-Qhubeka’s Dennis van Niekerk: “Today we controlled the front of the race again with Brad [Potgieter], Martin [Wesemann], Meron [Russom] and myself censuring Arran and Reinie were left to be fresh for the finish to sprint.
“I also controlled up the first Category Two climb at 27km into the stage so we get all our riders over the top and so we can all help each other control for the finish. It was a block head wind for most the day,” he told Road to London 2012.
Team manager Kevin Campbell is still under no illusions about the work that lies ahead. “The many miles completed so far are already taking their toll with a number of riders showing fatigue at the halfway point. We know the two big stage, stages eight and nine, are where the tour will ultimately be decided.
“Today once again saw great support from Wesemann, Potgieter, Van Niekerk and Russom which was finished off by the speed of our top sprinters.
“This tour, however, is not won yet. We pack away the fantastic prizes received each day in every finishing town knowing that they will not satisfy us if we do not see the job through to the end.”