Once again it was another sprint finish at Le Tour de Langkawi with Andrea Palini (SkyDive Dubai) winning the 2nd stage just ahead of Andrea Guardini (Astana) and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg took a fine 3rd place after another great team effort by Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka.
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka had a good day during the 158km stage from Sungai Petani to Pulau Pinang, animating the race when it counted the most. Initially, an early break of 5 riders went clear and they rode themselves into a 4-minute lead. The team of the yellow jersey, Astana, managed the gap carefully as they hoped to set up another sprint for Guardini.
The stage was mostly quite flat, that was until riders reached a cat 3 climb that presented itself with 30km to go. Our African Team’s plan was to make the racing as hard as possible, as a tougher finish would suit our fast man Reinardt Janse van Rensburg. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka used the positive gradient as a platform to put its plan into action. Songezo Jim and Adrien Niyonshuti did well to set a really hard tempo on the climb, thinning out the bunch and ensuring the early break would be caught before the finish.
Johann van Zyl then also launched an attack in the final 20km and rode across to the leaders with 2 other riders, forcing the other sprinters teams to use more of their resources early than they perhaps had hoped. Van Zyl’s break was eventually caught with 9km to go and then it was up to our African Team leading out Janse van Rensburg. Nic Dougall did a great job bringing our riders to the front of the race with 2km to go and then Venter dropped off Janse van Rensburg perfectly, with 300m to go.
Palini and Gaurdini also benefited from our team’s solid lead out and the Italians were able to come off Janse van Rensburg’s wheel and just pip him for the top 2 positions on the stage. With Janse van Rensburg taking 3rd place on the line, he now sits 4th on the overall general classification at 12 seconds behind Guardini.
Jaco Venter – Rider
We had a good day. We made the race hard on the last climb with Adrien and Songezo which then sparked a lot of attacks. We then got Johann in quite a good move as well. Once they were caught the team performed a great leadout for Reinardt and he ended 3rd so we can be happy about that today.
Reinardt Janse van Rensburg – Rider
The team was really good today. We tried to break the race up a little on the climb but unfortunately it wasn’t steep enough to get rid of our main sprinting opposition. The team was still fantastic to lead me out and deliver me to a great position but I just missed that final kick today. I hope to reward them soon for their hard work.