The final stage of the Tour de Luxembourg saw MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung in the thick of the action once again as Jaco Venter made the early break of the day which would turn out to also be the decisive move of the stage.
The early break was initially made up by 11 riders, Jaco included. With none of the riders an immediate threat to the GC lead, they were allowed to get up to a 6 minute advantage over the peloton. The parcours was tough, as riders were going up and down all day and this would eventually see riders from both the break and peloton being shelled out the back as the stage went on.
Jaco showed he had good legs by driving the break for a large portion of the day. Coming into the last 20km of the stage, it would be Jaco and 7 other riders still leading the way 2 minutes ahead of the peloton. The fun and games would begin as multiple attacks then came from the break. Jaco was able to match the moves and it came down our South African and 4 others for the sprint finish.
Sean de Bie (Lotto-Soudal) would take the stage win ahead of Leonardo Duque (Colombia) and Bjorn Leukemans (Wanty Groupe Gobert). With Kenneth van Bilsen (Cofidis) in 4th, Jaco rolled in for 5th place. The overall victory would go to Linus Gerdemann (Cult Energy) with Kristian Sbaragli ending 9th overall for our African team.
Jaco Venter – Rider
I was happy to be in the break today and glad that we could stay away as well. The final laps were really hard laps. I couldn’t keep up with the accelerations on the climbs but was fighting to get back every lap and eventually I ended with 5th.