“The wind was incredibly strong from the start, Rabobank had a super team at the race as did Vaconsoleil DCM and Farnese Vini. With riders like Mark Renshaw, Lars Boom, Graeme Brown (all Team Rabobank), Romain Feillu, Kenny van Hummel (Vaconsoleil DCM), Luca Ascani and Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini) we knew the race would split from the start and positioning was everything, “ said Doug Ryder team manager on the day. “Reinardt was incredible and sat with the orange Rabobank led peloton in the first 30km’s as the race disintegrated behind. Tsgabu Grmay (Team MTN-Qhubeka) stayed a long time in the 2nd group but with the bunch speeding along in the cross winds at 80km/h he struggled.”
After 30km of racing only 25 riders led the front of the race and at 100km the lead group was down to 16 riders. The dominant team was Rabobank with five riders (Renshaw, Brown, Boom, Leezer, Vermeelfoort), three riders from Topsport Vlaanderen, two riders from Farnese Vini and two riders from Vaconsoleil DCM. Rabobank started attacking with 50km to go but nothing stuck, Luca Ascani (Farnese Vini) went clear in the last 30km and quickly got a 25s gap. Rabobank started pacing to bring it back but did not seem to make an impact until Lars Boom (Rabobank) attacked. Janse van Rensburg rode across to Boom and then Van Hoecke (Topsport) did the same. The other breakaway riders tried to respond as these riders started to eat into the gap of Ascani.
On the first of the final three finishing circuits the three chasers caught Ascani. Janse van Rensburg attacked and only Boom and Van Hoecke could respond as Ascani started to pay for his earlier effort. In the chasing bunch, Renshaw attacked and attempted to bridge to the three leaders but could not get across as Janse van Rensburg used his South African Time Trial Champion pedigree to keep the tempo up. Renshaw was absorbed by what was left of the breakaway as the three leaders extended their advantage to 30s.
The leading trio kept the pressure on until the final kilometre when Janse van Rensburg started the sprint and crossed the finish line six or seven lengths clear of Lars Boom to score his 12th UCI victory of 2012 and move him one clear of Andre Greipel as the most winning UCI rider in 2012.
“This is my biggest European win and moves me again to the top of the UCI race wins this season. I am really happy and my form and confidence is getting better and better. I look forward to coming back in August and September,” said an elated Janse van Rensburg.
Team MTN-Qhubeka arrives bank in South Africa at OR Tambo airport in Johannesburg on Tuesday the 12th at 16h30.