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Jacques makes history
- Updated: June 5, 2012
Jacques Janse van Rensburg had a good addition to his cycling CV by becoming the first non-Eritrean to win the Tour of Eritrea.
The MTN-Qhubeka cyclist sealed his overall victory in the General Classification (GC) after the fifth and final stage of the tour, a 146-kilometre stage in Asmara comprising 14 laps of just over 10km. Janse van Rensburg’s teammate Tesfay Habtemariam managed a podium finish for the stage, finishing in third place.
Janse van Rensburg survived an onslaught in the last stage from the combined Eritrean teams, the national team and the Red Sea Camels Team, as well as the Algerian team, to maintain his lead and win the tour by over a minute.
MTN-Qhubeka team manager Kevin Campbell says the rest of the team worked tirelessly throughout the final stage to ensure that the lead did not slip from their grasp. The team had led the tour from the very first stage, won by one of its Eritrean riders, Jani Tewelde.
ÔÇ£Frekalsi Debesay (Eritrean National Team) and Azzedine Lagab (Algerian National Team) managed to slip away from the MTN-Qhubeka controlled peloton in the final five laps, but were never able to gain more than half a minute advantage over the yellow jersey wearer,ÔÇØ says Campbell. ÔÇ£In the end, fortune deserted Lagab as a mechanical failure not only resulted in him dropping out of the leading trio with just two laps remaining, but also losing vital time to Debesay and thereby losing his second place overall to Eritrean rider Debesay.ÔÇØ
Debesay finished second in the tour, just over a minute behind Janse van Rensburg, while Lagab came in third, two and a half minutes behind the tour winner.
ÔÇ£For Team MTN-Qhubeka this was a successful tour, with Tewelde claiming two stage wins and Janse van Rensburg claiming a stage win himself, as well as the overall victory,ÔÇØ says a satisfied Campbell.
┬áStage Five Results ÔÇô Asmara Circuit (146.3km):
1 Mekseb Debesay (Team Red Sea Cameles) 3hr 18min 44sec
2 Frekalsi Debesay┬á(Eritrean National Team)
3 Tesfay Habtemariam (Team MTN-Qhubeka) +37sec
Final General classification:
1 Jacques Janse Van Rensburg┬á(Team MTN-Qhubeka) 14:37:27
2 Frekalsi Debesay (Eritrean National Team) +1:09
3 Azzedine Lagab┬á(Algeria) +2:32