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Reinardt wins again
- Updated: March 31, 2012
By Mark Etheridge
Reinardt Janse van Rensburg raced to his fourth stage win of the Tour du Maroc in Morocco on Friday.
At 202 kilometres, the eighth-stage ride between Ouarzazate was the Tour’s queen stage before the event’s conclusion on Sunday.
Race leader Janse Van Rensburg was a marked man but his MTN-Qhubeka team have done a fine job of protecting him all tour and nothing changed on Friday.
The local Moroccans, along with the Turkish, Algerian┬áand Eritreans all had their own goals to achieve and there was some good racing before the race hit the days’ first climb, a category three affair after 73km of racing.
All the GC contenders and Dennis Van Niekerk, Martin Wesemann and Eritrean rider Meron Russom were the men tasked with guiding Janse Van Rensburg safely up the mountain slopes
“Myself and Martin had to work really hard yesterday to keep the bunch under control and keep Reinie as fresh as possible,” Van Niekerk told Road to London 2012 on Saturday. “I’m still lying 10th on GC as well. Only one more long day ahead for us ÔÇô hard work does pay off…”
Riders had to keep their eyes on the road as the Col du Tichka pass weaved its way down into the Taddardt valley, through hairpin bends, steep drop-offs and tricky corners.
One more climb, a second category climb, awaited the field but this didn’t stop the rhythm and once again it was the SA based MNT-Qhubeka outfit who were in charge of the ride to Marrakech. A few brave Moroccans tried desperately to dash ahead for the stage victory and grab some glory for the local nation but the MTN-Qhubeka riders have not proved themselves the best team on this tour by being unaware.
Wesemann and Van Niekerk steadily upped the speed as the group neared the finish line allowing All Africa Games road time trial champoin Janse Van Rensburg to launch himself for the line with 100 metres remaining to claim a dominating win.
Saturday sees┬á the race embarking on a 198km from Marrakech to El Jadida for the race’s penultimate stage and you wouldn’t bet on Janse van Rensburg stay on top of the GC once again.