Ryan Gibbons’ capture of the South African road race title underscored a superb weekend for the NTT Pro Cycling team.
Racing across four continents, a remarkable 24-hour period saw first Ben O’Connor storm to a superb victory on stage four at Etoiles de Besseges. The 24-year-old Australian was superbly supported in the final stages of a race that saw NTT Pro Cycling take the race firmly in their grip, and duly rewarded with O’Connor’ storming solo to the line.
That victory was followed up 12 or so hours later as our team at Tour de Langkawi clicked to perfectly catapult our German sprinter, Max Welscheid, clear to a dominant win on stage three. He had already finished fourth and second respectively in the prior stages, as well as claiming victory in the pre-race criterium.
That result saw Welscheid climb to third on the general classification and take the lead in the points classification.
Then on to the Limpopo province in South Africa where on Sunday afternoon Gibbons, fantastically supported by teammate Stefan de Bod and Marc Pritzen of our UCI Continental team, finally saw his dream realised of being crowned the South African champion.
He saw off defending champion Daryl Impey in a tight sprint finish, to clinch the title with Jayde Julius taking third. That result will see the South African champions jersey again within our ranks on the WorldTour.
Those three results were the highlights of an excellent week of racing for our team, consolidated by brilliant teamwork both on and off the bike, that included the inaugural Saudi Tour where we scored numerous top-10s. The highlight of that was a highly credible second place for Reinardt Janse van Rensburg despite carrying a deeply uncomfortable injury after crashing.
The series of results saw out internal communications buzzing throughout the weekend as well as a large number of messages of support from across the world.