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Reinardt 4th in Europe
- Updated: April 23, 2012
Our MTN-Qhubeka riders had another solid weekend on the European cycling circuit with Reinardt Janse van Rensburg best of the bunch in two races contested in the Netherlands, writes Mark Etheridge.
Both Saturday and Sunday’s races were UCI 1.2 rated and Janse van Rensburg ended 17th on Saturday and fourth on Sunday.
The first race was the Arno Wallaard Memorial event and Janse van Rensburg was 16 seconds off the pace as Dylan van Baarle of the Rabobank Continental Team came up trumps.
“Both days were really windy,” said the Pretoria based rider. “We had a good race on Saturday with me making the initial split of 19 before being brought back and then Bradley Potgieter going solo with about 50km to go. He was joined by four others 24km to go. Unfortunately he got ridden off with 6km to go and the four in front survived by a few seconds. I got 17th and Arran [Brown] 24th.
“The longest stretch of road was probably about a kilometer longÔÇª not something we’re used to back home where our races feature maybe one corner every 10-20km. And it’s also much more difficult fighting for a good position here with narrow roads and 200 strong guys all wanting to be in the best spot possible in case of crosswinds.”
On to Sunday’s race, the 211.5km Ronde van Noord-Holland, raced from the town of Zaandam. Once again the wind played havoc on the long exposed roads which saw the highest altitude at just five metres above sea level and the lowest point being six metres below sea level.
“Noord Holland is renowed for its echelon riding (gutters). And from the outset a early break of 16 got up the road. It wasn’t long before the peloton was in 10 pieces on the road. We had myself and Dennis [Van Niekerk] in a 30-man chasing group. But due to his small stature Dennis was ridden out the back on the tail-crosswind which left me without teammates. At this point the break enjoyed a three-minute lead.
“The group split up more and more each time there was crosswinds and pretty soon we were 11 chasing 16 in front. The gap came down very slowly, and was caught with 50km remaining. Almost immediately I found myself in a group racing off the front.
With 35km remaining Gediminas Bagdonas, of An Post – Sean Kelly team attacked. No one reacted and he got a gap which wasn’t going to be closed as riders in the break were running out of legs. The rest started racing for second and I managed to get third in the group behind.”
That saw him ending fourth overall, 39sec down on the winner.
“It was a bit disappointing not to take the opportunity to get onto the podium. But with more racing I believe it will come soon. Our next race is Tour de Bretagne, a seven- day tour which starts on Wednesday and then the Ronde van Overijsel, a two-day tour next weekend and finally Circuit de Wallonie on Monday.
Looking further down the road and the MTN-Qhubeka outfit’s biggest race will be the Delta Zeeland race in Netherlands, formerly a two-day event but this day only one day, in June and the Fl├¿che du Sud in Luxembourg next month is also holding lots of appeal for Janse van Rensburg.
Hi Greg.. Mark Etheridge here, Managing Editor at Road to London 2012. Absolutely ... of course Daryl deserves praise. I've tried to get hold of him in the past but to no avail unfortunately. Have tried again though, via FB and on his own blog. Hopefully he'll get back to me and we can give him the same coverage as we give all our other cyclists/sportsmen and woman around the country and around the globe. If you have extra info please feel free to mail me on [email protected] . thanx for the input