Reinardt on a roll | SASCOC - SASCOC

Reinardt on a roll

By Mark Etheridge

Reinardt Janse van Rensburg is on a right royal roll of victories this year and this weekend was no different.

Since September, the Pretoria cyclist has gone from strength to strength and making his presence felt on the roads around the globe.

After winning the individual time trial at the All Africa Games in Mozambique in September, he went on to be South Africa’s highest placed finisher in the road race at the UCI road world championships in Copenhagen, Denmark.

He followed that up with a stage win at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour in Australia, his first ever stage win away from African soil. He went on to finish fourth in the General Classification in that race.

Then it was off to the Tour of Hainan in China where, although he failed to win a stage, he ended second on the GC.

But that’s not all. In Bloemfontein on Sunday he blasted to victory in the OFM event in the Free State capital. The MTN-Qhubeka rider clocked 1hr 13min 4sec for the 111 kilometre race, edging out hometown rider Hanco Kachelhoffer by just a few centimeters in a hectic dash for the line.

Janse van Rensburg’s good fortune was Kachelhoffer’s bad luck, as the Bonitas rider, Bloemfontein born and bred has now had to settle for second best at this event three years in a row. Janse van Rensburg had little time to savour his victory though as his next mission presents itself way up north in just a few days. That’s the African Continental Championships in Eritrea that run from Wednesday to Sunday.

He took time out to reflect and project on goings on for Road to London 2012. “I worked hard for Worlds this year, and I am still carrying that good form! The past few weeks have been unbelievable..

The team was really good today. We showed great depth from our recent stints to China and Australia. Obviously, 94.7 is still a big goal for us, and its important we stay focused for the next two weeks. I’m quite motivated to get the Continental title, but it won’t be easy. The Eritreans have some strong riders and they surely be on top form and with home-ground advantage.

“Daniel Teklehaimanot is one man to watch, he has won everything at the previous continental champs and recently signed for Greenedge. We have quite a rivalry between us, but hopefully this time I can prevail.”

Teklehaimnot triumphed at last year’s continental championships in Rwanda. His success story is all the more remarkable when one considers he had to undergo heart surgery two years ago. Based at the UCI World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland like South African track rider Bernard Esterhuizen, Teklehaimanot had surgery for a tachycardia early in 2009 but recovered quickly enough and was almost back to his previous level by May already.

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