Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka put in a clinical performance at the 2nd stage of the Tour Croatia as Mark Cavendish sprinted to the victory, Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) was 2nd and Mark Renshaw rounded out the podium for our African Team in 3rd.
After yesterday’s 235km stage there was no respite for the riders in Croatia today as 240km of undulating roads had to be covered before reaching the finish in Split. 6 riders would form the break of the day and after Nizzolo won yesterday’s opening stage, it was up to his Trek-Segafredo team to control proceedings.
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka also had a keen interest in today’s stage and so Jay Thomson was also sent up front to add some reinforcement to the chase. While there was a fair bit more climbing today, it was not enough to stretch the peloton during the race. A crash mid peloton in the final 10km of the stage had the biggest impact on the race, reducing the main group to around 60 riders, but our African Team were safely at the head of affairs and so were unaffected.
The break, after a good 200km out front, were reeled in by the main group and once again it was a technical run in to the finish. Reinardt Janse van Rensburg did a stellar job, doing multiple turns on the front of the peloton while Renshaw guided Cavendish to prime position for the final kilometer. A roundabout and two 90-degree bends made the finale quite tricky and positioning was vital for a top result. Our Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka team ticked all those boxes as Cavendish was able to come off Renshaw’s wheel with 150m to go and take a good win.
The leadout worked so well that Renshaw was able to roll home in third place on the stage. After finishing 2nd yesterday and taking the win today, Cavendish also took over the lead in the general classification as well.
Mark Cavendish – Rider
I’m really happy to take the win today. Yesterday the team rode on the front from beginning and I just messed up a bit in the final, I just didn’t have it yesterday really. So I was really glad the team kept the faith in me for today. Once again Jay spent all day in front, working super hard. The guys were then also really prominent in final. The finishes here in Croatia are really technical and quite dangerous so it make it quite nervous. We had a good plan with Mark Renshaw to lead it out into the corners. Yesterday I over geared a bit but today I went in with a smaller gear and after coming through the corners it was more about the acceleration than the power. So I was super happy to take the win for the team because the guys were really fantastic. We have the leader’s jersey now which means it will be another long day on the front for Jay tomorrow but he has been so strong and is riding really well. The stage definitely isn’t for me tomorrow but Reinie can be up there so as a team we will remain prominent in the race.
Alex Sans Vega – Sport Director
It was a good day and another long stage at 240km. It was a windy day too, we certainly had more wind than expected. The break took a bit longer to form today, there were many attacks and sometimes there were even quite big groups that went ahead. Later on 6 riders were in the break and Trek never gave them more than 5 minutes. Halfway through the stage we started sharing the work with Trek. Coming to the final everything worked out, the team did a really good job. Renshaw took Cavendish through the final kilometer really well. We are really happy with the win of today.