Once again, the challenging weather conditions played a big role for Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka and the rest of the peloton in Paris-Nice. Reinardt Janse van Rensburg did well to get in the mix and take 14th place in the sprint.
After yesterday’s brutal stage, many had hoped that the peloton would take it a bit easier today. However, that wasn’t the case. In pouring rain, accompanied by a strong wind, the peloton split up almost instantly. At one point, no less than six groups were spread across the exposed French roads.
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s Natnael Berhane was part of the first break of the day but the peloton never let the group get much of a gap. Instead, a furious chase between the teams of the overall favorites took place. Only with 50 km left to go, the pace slowed down a little and a new group of five riders got away. The peloton had the breakaway under control and despite a couple of late attacks, it all ended with a bunch sprint within a group of 70 riders.
Janse van Rensburg took up the fight with the best sprinters in the race and our South African champion put in a strong performance after a very hard and cold day in the saddle. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) won the stage, while Arnaud Démare (FDJ) kept the yellow jersey. Tomorrow awaits another stage for the fast riders.
Reinardt Janse van Rensburg – Rider
”This was another extremely chaotic and hard day. I had to chase from the third group for most of the first part of the stage. I felt pretty good when I finally made it back with the leaders, but I started to suffer in the cold on the last 40 km. In the sprint, my legs were too cold and I simply didn’t have any power to kick. The positive side is that I saw my condition is good. I just arrived from South Africa and Abu Dhabi and my performance should improve further once I adapt to the cold a bit more”.