MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung were in the thick of the action from early on with Kristian Sbaragli being one of the main instigators, representing our African team in the break of the day. With the gap coming down, it was on the others. In the end Edvald Boasson Hagen managed to come home 19th, despite a mechanical..
The E3 Harelbeke saw a deserved winner in Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) who was able to best Zdenek Stybar (Etixx-Quickstep) for the top honours. Matteo Trentin (Etixx-Quickstep) rounded out the podium by winning a small group sprint. MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung were in the thick of the action from early on with Kristian Sbaragli being one of the main instigators, representing our African team in the break of the day. Kristian was joined by 5 other riders as they pushed the early pace and forged out a 10 minute lead over the peloton. Once again a number of crashes took its toll on the peloton with.
The second stage of the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali covered 156 kilometers from Cesenatico to Sogliano al Rubicone. The hilly final made for some interesting racing, especially since rain was one of the main sights of the day. In the end Ben Swift (Sky) dealt best with the conditions, as he beat Matija Kvasina (Felbrmayr-Simplon) and Francesco Bongiorno (Bardiani-CSF) into second and third. Louis Meintjes was Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung’s best placed finisher in ninth and his performance was good enough to stay in the top10 overall. An early break was able to built up a lead of around 3 minutes, but was reeled.
The E3 Harelbeke gets underway today and serves as the first World Tour cobbled classic of the year. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung will be lining-up with intentions of being a prominent fixture throughout the race. At 218km long, and a route that includes most of the famed Helingens and cobbles sectors in the West Flanders region, today’s race could be considered as a mini Ronde van Vlaanderen. This stern test ensures that all the top classics riders will be present at today’s race. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung will rally around Edvald Boasson Hagen, Tyler Farrar and Gerald Ciolek today with Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Kristian.