Tour de France #3: Serge Pauwels makes the break in crash affected stage

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The 3rd stage of the Tour de France saw Joquim Rodriguez (Katusha) take the victory atop the Mur de Huy, just ahead of Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R La Mondiale). Froome would also move into the yellow jersey. 

The day would start of positively for our African team as Serge Pauwels got into the break of the day, escaping with 3 other riders from kilometer zero. While the break was caught with around 60km to go, Serge‘s efforts were well rewarded as the first Belgian across the line at kilometer 15 would win a car. Being the only Belgian in the break, Serge will drive away with a brand new Peugeot after the Tour.

The main talking point of the day was the massive crash that occurred just after the break had been caught today. A touch of wheels at high speed saw a massive pile up of around 40 riders. Daniel Teklehaimanot, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg and Tyler Farrar all went down. Thankfully each of our riders were able to re-join the peloton after race organisers neutralised the race due to the dramatic crash.

Once things got underway again with 50km to go it was a mad dash to the foot of the Mur de Huy. Our 2 young Africans, Louis Meintjes and Merhawi Kudus would form part of the select favourites group that arrived at the foot of the Mur together. Louis would cross the line 22nd and Merhawi 30th in the end.

Reinardt Janse van Rensburg – Rider
It was quite nervous leading up to the point of the crash as everyone was fighting for position before the first climb of the day. There was a touch of wheels up front and all I saw was guys on the floor. We were going so fast on that downhill that there wasn’t even chance to brake and about 30-40 riders went down. I crashed on the grass so I am okay. Daniel and Tyler look a bit worse than me but they still look okay to continue. 

Merhawi Kudus – Rider
We had massive support today from before the start with so many fans coming out to see us. There were Eritrean flags everywhere so when I started I was really motivated. Unfortunately it was a bad race. I have never seen anything like this before, everybody gets so nervous and there was a massive crash. So when I was riding in the peloton I was a little bit scared and didn’t ride right in front but actually I was feeling good. 

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