The young South African totalled 111 points ahead of Sergio Ribeiro in second place (Portugal, 78 points) and Hugo Sabido in third (Portugal 69 points). Janse van Rensburg also finished 17th in the young rider competition.
The Volta a Portugal general classification was won by David Blanco (Spain, 41:30:06) ahead of Sabido (@22”) and Rui Sousa (@ 57″). MTN-Qhubeka’s top finisher in the GC was Dennis van Niekerk in 48th position (@29’40”).
“The Volta Portugal was our biggest event of the 2012 season,” says MTN-Qhubeka Sports Director Jens Zemke. “We ended the tour as one of the most successful teams, having won the Prologue and the final stage ahead of many thousand spectators. Reinardt Janse van Rensburg got also three second place finishes in the various stages. We were part of every winning ceremony and made a big footprint in the race as our riders chased, sat in leading groups and did their team proud.”
Zemke believes the MTN-Qhubeka riders did a fantastic job and notes that the team has already been invited to take part in the event in 2013 again.
“With two weeks of racing covering 1 600km, it is one of the longest and hardest races in the calendar,” he says. It’s well broadcast and is very well organized.”
The final stage victory was a major coup for the team. “The stage was made for Janse van Rensburg,” enthuses Zemke. “The team supported him strongly and he succeeded. Nobody was able to beat him in the sprint. Jacques Janse van Rensburg was also part of a five-man break and they were only caught with 10km to go. Jaco Venter did a fantastic job as the last lead-out man. It was a good team effort.”
The team enjoyed a celebratory dinner in Lisbon before embarking on the long journey back to the team house in Belgium. Zemke says the focus is now on the next big calendar event – the UCI Road World Championship Time Trials. These take place from 16 September in the Netherlands.