Preview: Circuit Cycliste Sarthe – Pays de la Loire


The Circuit Cycliste Sarthe is a UCI 2.1 4 day, 5 stage cycle race in France. The race starts on Tuesday 7 April and Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung are happy to be starting this French stage race, our first tour on French soil this year.

Riders will take on 4 road stages and 1 time trial stage over the 4 days. Wednesday will see the running of the two half stages with a short 84km road race in the morning before the 6.8km TT in the afternoon. There are no real big mountains to speak of during the race but all stages could be termed as lumpy or undulating with a number of short climbs. Stage 3 is the only stage to finish with somewhat of a climb to the line but it can hardly be called a summit finish.

MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung will line-up with a good climbing team, hoping to make the best of what the race has to offer. With Steve Cummings in the line-up, another good GC result is a possibility. The race only allows for 6 rider teams though, making proceedings unpredictable and hard to control. Jacques Janse van Rensburg, Louis Meintjes, Johann van Zyl, Merhawi Kudus and Natnael Berhane will complete our 6 rider roster.

Jacques Janse van Rensburg – Rider
I feel good for la Sarthe and I think we have a strong team here once again. It’s almost the same team as Coppi e Bartali so the morale of the riders here is really high. Though the course is not as suitable as Coppi, we will definitely think of something to do so that we can get the best possible result. It’s also nice to race in France ahead of the Tour and this will only be my second race here in 3 years so I’m really looking forward to it.

 Louis Meintjes – Rider
It looks like we have some good weather forecast for Circuit la Sarthe. With so much racing going on at the moment already, the bunch won’t be too big either. My legs are feeling pretty good so hopefully we can have some good luck again this week.

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