The Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka riders were in the mix again on stage 3 of Tour de Suisse. Nicolas Dougall sprinted for the intermediate points, while Reinardt Janse van Rensburg took up the fight with the favorites and finished just outside of Top10.
Today’s stage was expected to be a matter for the sprinters but an early breakaway nearly took the peloton by surprise. The break only consisted of two riders; Lasse Norman Hansen (Aqua Blue Sport) and Elmar Reinders (Roompot) but that didn’t make it any easier for the pack to reel the duo back in. Only with 13 km left to go did it all come back together. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka did well to position Janse van Rensburg near the front for the undulating finish in Bern. Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) ended up taking the win and the leader’s jersey, while our South African champion finished in 11th place.
Dougall fought hard in the intermediate sprint to keep the black points jersey but ultimately, he had to see Matthews take over the lead in that competition as well due to his stage win. However, as Dougall sits second overall in the points classification, he will wear the jersey again on stage 4 as Matthews will line up in the yellow jersey. In the general classification, our three climbers Mekseb Debesay, Merhawi Kudus and Lachlan Morton are all still in contention before tomorrow’s difficult mountain top finish to Villars-sur-Ollon.
Reinandt Janse van Rensburg:
“The run-in towards the finish was very hectic. I knew some of the parts from Tour de France last year but today, it was even more hectic. We started on the final climb with 15 km to go a bit too far down and it was really difficult to get back to the front. Jaco Venter did a great job to bring me into a good position with six kilometers to go. Unfortunately, we got pinned back a bit in the corners and on the cobblestones on the final kilometers. On the last uphill section, I managed to move to the front again but I had to do a big effort to get up there so I was already at my limit as we started to sprint”.