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MTN-Qhubeka 10th after two stages of TDF
- Updated: July 6, 2015
MTN-Qhubeka start Monday’s third stage of the Tour de France in 10th position in the team standings after Sunday’s gruelling time in the wind and rain from Utrecht to Zelande.
The 166-kilometre stage saw the wind picking up markedly from around 55km into the race and heavy rain soon added to the treacherous conditions.
Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) sprinted to the stage win ahead of Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Fabian Cancellaro (Trek Factory Racing). Cancellaro now wears the famous yellow jersey for the 29th time in his illustrious career.
Two of African team MTN-Qhubeka’s men went down in crashes, Merhawi Kudus of Eritrea and Norway’s Edvald Boasson Hagen but both got up to fight another day.
The team had Serge Pauwels and Tyler Farrar in the front group and Jacques Janse van Rensburg in the second.
Farrar said afterwards: ‘With the wind and the rain and everything else, it was an extra crazy day of the Tour. Everyone is always nervous anyway but everyone was extra nervous today so it was quite hectic out there. We had Serge, myself and Jacques in the second group and initially Serge and I were in the front split.
‘There were some crashes in that town with all the roundabouts at 40km to go and that split our group, and Serge and I were caught behind that so we just had to watch the race ride away.’
The team standings see MTN-Qhubeka 5min 46sec off the leaders, BMC Racing team, going into the third stage while Pauwels is the best placed in the General Classification (59th).
Tuesday’s stage is 159.5km from Anvers to Huy and there are a good few hills that will sort things out, especially in the last 18km which features three short but steep climbs before a spectacular finish above the town of Huy.