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- Blitzboks bag three wins in Dubai
- International honours for Olympic coach Barrow
- Hall of Fame honours for SA legend Sally Little
- Blitzboks off to a great start with Ugandan whitewash
- Banyana going all out to bag bronze in Cameroon
- Powell opts for experience at Dubai Sevens
- First IGT Tour win for Arnoldi at Centurion
Another top 10 TDF finish for African outfit
- Updated: July 16, 2016
For Friday’s Tour de France 13th stage, Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka saw Steve Cummings and Edvald Boasson Hagen giving the individual time trial give a good crack while the other riders, not typically suited to a time trial, saved their legs for the expected sprint stage on Saturday.
Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) won the stage, setting a time only Chris Froome (Team Sky) came close to but could not beat. Nelson Oliveira (Movistar) took third place on the stage.
Cummings, as one of the earlier starters, posted some really good intermediate times, swapping between first and second position with Rohan Dennis (BMC) at the three time checks. At the finish line though, Cummings stopped the clock in a time of 52min 40sec, the second best time at that point in the day.
Edvald Boasson Hagen was also on a flyer, slotting into the top five positions at the intermediate time checks during his effort. The bumpy nature of the road surface saw the Norwegian champion drop his chain on a few occasions, losing a precious few seconds here and there to eventually finish in a time of 52:49.
Dumoulin, the overall stage favourite came in not too long after Boasson Hagen and set an incredibly fast time of 50:15.
Nobody would come close to the time of the Dutch champion, Froome being the nearest just over a minute down. Cummings’ time was able hold strong against most of the GC favourites to ensure he finished in 10th position and Boasson Hagen placed 13th.
A good day for the African Team made better by the fact that it was the first day of their #Qhubeka5000 challenge, where a number of fans around the world rode the same 37km distance our riders had to face on Friday.
Said Cummings: ‘It was a bit of a tricky time trial course because of the strong winds that blew throughout the day. Time trial bikes aren’t the biggest fans of super strong crosswinds. Starting early, my plan was just to give it my 100% and that is what I did.’
Team-mate Reinardt Janse van Rensburg echoed his sentiments, the Pretoria based rider saying: ‘It was really windy out there so we just tried to get through it and save as much as we could.
‘Tomorrow is a big day for us with Cavendish and a sprint again so we were focused on just being safe and using the stage to recover as much as possible. Tomorrow is a big day.’
Saturday’s stage is the fourth longest of the Tour, a 208km stretch between Montelimar and Villars-les-Dombes Parc des Oiseauix, a classic transition stage and one which could see a breakaway, the last chance before the final mountain stages. Chances are also good for a headwind and the last few kilometres will be tricky.