Reinhardt Janse van Rensburg (MTN-Energade) won the Knysna Cycle Race (100km) on Sunday, 4 July.
His team-mate, Jaco Venter, was second and Aran Brown (Medscheme) won the bunch sprint to take the third position.
Janse van Rensburg explains that his victory is the result of a near perfect team effort.
“The bunch stayed pretty much together over the first half of the race. When we reached the steepest climb (2.6km with 8 % gradient), we decided that it was now or never.
“Kevin Evans, Jaco Venter, Adrien Niyonshuti and I attacked on the climb and made the pace as hard as we could. Our plan worked, because when we reached the top only two riders from Medscheme (Hanco Kachelhoffer and Johann Rabie) and two riders from the House of Paints (Jason Bakke and Tiaan Kannemeyer) were still with us.
“My team-mates and I decided that we were going to maintain a fast pace in an effort to tire the other riders. To make a long story short, at Sedgefield the ‘elastic’ snapped. This meant that Jaco, Hanco, Jason and I were the only four riders left in the breakaway.”
A few kilometers further Janse van Rensburg attacked on his own and demonstrated why he is the current SA u.23 time-trial champion. This time none of the other riders had the legs to go with him.
Slowly but surely, with one powerful pedal stroke after another, Janse van Rensburg opened a gap.
When Venter was convinced that Kachelhoffer and Bakke were really tired, he also attacked. When Janse van Rensburg saw what was happening, he slowed down to allow Venter to catch up with him. The two MTN-Energade riders then worked together to ensure that nobody could catch up with them again.
Janse van Rensburg’s winning time was 2 hours 26 minutes and 57 seconds.
It was actually a very good day for the MTN-Energade team because Mariske Strauss won the women’s race. Lizanne Naude and Anriëtte Schoeman (both Biogen-Toyota) finished second and third respectively.