SA cyclists dominate | SASCOC - SASCOC

SA cyclists dominate

By Mark Etheridge

South African based outfit MTN-Qhubeka dominated from start to finish at the Tour du Maroc that ended on Sunday.

Arran Brown won the final stage, a 120-kilometre grid between El Jadida and Casablanca, in 3hr 22min 43sec and in third place was overall winner Reinardt Janse van Rensburg.

Between them the two South Africans won eight of the 10 stages.

Pretoria’s Janse van Rensburg ended on top of the General Classification (GC) standings with a combined time of 34hr 27min 36sec, good enough for a 39sec lead over Morocco’s national rider Adil Jelloul.

The MTN-Qhubeka team had two other riders in the top GC top 10, Eritrean Meron Russom in ninth  (2:49 back) and climbing specialist Dennis Van Niekerk (2:53 behind).

“Yes, we did pretty well,” said Janse van Rensburg in what must be one of the cycling code’s biggest understatements in ages. “We won eight stages between us ÔÇô I won fourÔÇô and finished first and second in the points competition as well as winning the GC.

“The goal was always the GC to get the valuable UCI points to qualify more South African riders for World Championionships later this year. The team did an excellent job controlling the entire race and setting up a platform were we can win stages as well.”

One thing that will have the 23-year-old Pretoria rider very excited is the fact that he’s moved up to second spot on the World Rankings list for UCI victories in 2012, with only Belgium’s Tom Boonen above him. Brown currently sits in eighth spot now.

Janse van Rensburg also made some history by being the first South African to win a UCI tour since Daryl Impey in the Tour of Turkey three years ago.

Next up for the MTN-Qhubeka outfit is a big race in Germany on Easter Monday, the Rund om Koln event. It’s Germany’s second oldest road race and covers a route of 196.7km.