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Reinardt third in Europe
- Updated: May 17, 2012
Reinardt Janse van Rensburg and the MTN-Qhubeka outfit continue to make their presence felt on the European cycling calendar, writes Mark Etheridge.
Wednesday saw the first of five stages of the Fl├¿che du Sud race in Luxembourg and the first stage was raced over 81 kilometres in the town of Differdange.
Janse van Rensburg has been little short of a revelation on the last year and has really graduated to a next level on the cycling scene. With his ever-increasing prowess he’s going to give the Cycling South Africa selectors something of a poser as our one spot in the London Olympics later this year looks to be contested by himself, Robbie Hunter and Daryl Impey (the last two of whom are riding the Giro d’Italia currently).
And the Pretoria rider ended the day in third spot, 11 seconds off the lead. “Two guys survived by a few seconds and I got third on the stage in a small group, along with Martin Wesemann. A good start,” said Janse van Rensburg after the first day’s action.
Denmark’s Andre Steensen (Glud & Marstrand) won the stage in a time of 2hr 00min 50sec from the Tyrol Team’s Jure Golcer who was just a second back.
As are so many races in Europe, the stage was raced over circuits, on this occasion two 21km loops followed by four 10km circuits. The stage included 1400m of climbing so there were no thoughts of long processions.
After early work from Bradley Potgieter and Wesemann, Janse van Rensburg only rode across to Wesemann in the second split on the second last lap.
Wesemann then did his level best to get his team-mate close to the two breakaways but just fell short.
Other MTN-Qhubeka riders in the mix were Eritrea’s Meron Russom (25th), Dennis van Niekerk (38th) and Ethiopia’s Tsgabu Grmay (40th). There was two other South Africans in action on Wednesday, Jaco Venter (riding for Team Differdange) who placed 20th while Julius Jayde (Bianci-Lotto-Nieuwe Hoop Tielen) was 74th.
A total of 130 riders finished the first stage and Thursday’s stage features a 167km ride from Schifflange to Roeser.