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Reinardt races to Tour de Langkawi victory
- Updated: March 3, 2016
By Mark Etheridge
Pretoria’s Reinardt Janse van Rensburg ensured that Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka retained their title at the 2016 Le Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia on Wednesday.
While Astana’s Andrea Guardini sprinted to his fourth stage win of the race, the Team Dimension Data riders gave their all to make sure that Janse van Rensburg topped the General Classification standings.
Janse van Rensburg who notched up his first tour victory since 2012 and first victory since 2013, will now face the rest of the season in upbeat frame of mind after having started the day 11 seconds clear of UnitedHealthcare’s Daniel Jaramillo and going on to extend it to 18sec at the tape.
The final stage was a flat 119-kilometre ride and his team-mates kept him up at the front of the peloton when it counted and also ensuring that he didn’t have to be involved in the flat-out sprint at the end.
Not bad going for the powerhouse who turned 27 just a month ago and was actually a replacement in the team to tackle Langkawi.
‘Yeah, this is a big win for me,’ Janse van Rensburg told Road to Rio 2016. ‘The biggest result of my career so far.
‘It was also a little bit unexpected,’ he laughed. ‘I wasn’t in the team to do it at first but management convinced me to go and it paid off really well.
‘I surprised myself a little by being able to stay in contention in the tour’s only mountain stage and from there on I had a good chance to take the overall.’
He also took time out to pay tribute to his team-mates. ‘I have to thank them for their good work, day in and day out, without them it wouldn’t have been possible.
‘I’m happy to have defended the title for the team, especially as team-mate Youcef Reguigui won last year. I would have loved to win a stage too though!’
Now the focus shifts to Europe where that season rolls into action.
‘I start with Tirenno-Adriatico, Milan-San Remo and then the rest of the classics.
‘This win is definitely a confidence boost. Milan-San Remo will be a big target this year and I’m eager to show myself there.’
Team Dimension Data ended fourth in the teams classification, 1min 03sec behind UnitedHealthCare Professional CT.