Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) sprinted to victory on stage 8 of the Tour de Suisse, coming in just ahead of Fernando Gaviria (Quickstep-Floors) and Alexander Kristoff (UAE-Emirates).
The 8th stage of the Tour de Suisse took shape in the form of a lumpy circuit in Bellinzona. The 21km circuit had to be completed 6 times, and so the sprinters were licking their lips at another chance today. 4 riders didn’t make it easy for the fast men, breaking away on the first lap and riding to just over a 2-minute lead.
In the end the sprint teams had things under control and reeled in the final breakaway rider with just 5km to go. Our African Team was giving the dice to Reinardt Janse van Rensburg to have a roll and Nic Dougall was seen working hard to get his fellow South African into a good position for the sprint.
Moving up the right side of the peloton with 2km to go, Dougall did well to drop Janse van Renburg off on the wheel of the European champion, Kristoff. Groupama-FDJ had the numbers to lead out the sprint, going up against Quickstep, and it was the French team that had the last say with Demare taking the stage.
Janse van Rensburg, who has gradually been making his way back to full fitness after two early season operations, showed good speed to finish on the wheels on the top guys, taking 7th on the line. Positive signs for the remainder of our South African’s season.
Reinardt Janse van Rensburg – Rider
It was great to be back in a proper bunch sprint again. The team did a good job to bring me into the position I needed to be at 2km to go. I was in a pretty good position before the last bend, but the guy in front of me hesitated slightly and we had to do a big effort to come back with Quickstep’s strong leadout pulling on the front. In the end, that effort killed my legs for the sprint and I could only stay in the wheels.