Reinardt Janse van Rensburg finally delivers. This South African diamond, aged 23, polished by Team MTN-Qhubeka, shone brightly at the Tour of Morocco, an event he dominated from start to finish winning four of the 10 stages and securing the overall victory. And when Janse van Rensburg wasn’t on the top step of the podium, his team-mate Arran Brown took over, also winning four stages. When other riders did escape in the mountains between Tinghir and Ouarzazate on the seventh day of the race, Janse van Rensburg did not lose out as his main rivals also missed the break.
This dominant performance has propelled Janse van Rensburg to the head of the UCI Africa Tour ranking with 206.67 points. He leads from Eritrean Natnael Berhane (160.67 points), who is now in Europe training at the World Cycling Centre, and Moroccan Adil Jelloul (152.67 points) who finished runner-up in his national tour.
“I am very proud to lead the UCI Africa Tour,” said Janse van Rensburg, “It’s very special to be your continental tour leader.”
Janse van Rensburg has been a rider who has shown great potential for the last two years. He finished in second place on five stages of the 2010 Tour of Morocco. He also gained podium places at the 2010 and 2011 African Continental Championships in both the road race and time trial, but the gold medals remained the exclusive property of the Eritreans. With impressive results in his own country, becoming time trial champion on more than one occasion, Janse van Rensburg has also made a mark elsewhere in the world, in particular since the end of last season, with a stage win in the Jayco Herald Sun Tour in Australia and second in the Tour of Hainan in China.
But without his performance in the recent tour of Morocco – possibly the start of a stellar career - Janse van Rensburg would still be considered as a perpetual, if gallant, loser. His athletic qualities are impressive: a muscular build from rugby training, explosive climbing style and superb technique in sprints and time trials.
However, the rider from Pretoria is not expecting to contest overall victory in the 2011-2012 UCI Africa Tour. “I am focusing my energy in Europe now as I believe it’s best for my development as a rider to gain as much experience as I can over there,” he said. Success
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