Reinardt Janse van Rensburg Interview: “It’s quite a relief to get the breakthrough”
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Friday, October 11, 2013

Reinardt Janse van Rensburg Interview: “It’s quite a relief to get the breakthrough”

by Xylon van Eyck at 11:56 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews
The South African explains the journey towards his first win for Argos

Reinardt Janse Van RensburgThis week, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg reminded people of his talent after winning Binche - Tournai – Binche in Belgium, outsprinting a large peloton to cross the line several metres ahead of Bjorn Leukemans (Vacansoleil DCM) and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team).

In 2012, while part of then Continental team MTN-Qhubeka, Janse van Rensburg was hot property on the cycling circuit. Fourteen UCI victories ensured that teams took notice of the young South African who was starting to make a name for himself. By the close of the season, he had several top teams vying for his signature. He eventually settled with Argos-Shimano.

Only, the first six months of 2013 would not anywhere close to what he had hoped for.

“I would say the lowest part of my season was when I had tendonitis in my knee just after Tour of Flanders,” Janse van Rensburg told VeloNation. “I was sick just before Flanders then I was healthy again for the race and two days later I got tendonitis in the knee and was lingering on for a couple of weeks. I tried to train but eventually I had to take a break and restart the season.”

What followed the injury was the hope that he’d recover in time for the Tours of Romandie and Belgium. Although he made the start list and earned a top ten finish on stage three in Romandie, he admits he was not in top condition yet.

The Tour of Belgium went better, netting another top ten result on the way to finishing fifteenth overall. A few days later he would start the Critérium du Dauphiné. The French race was going well for the 24 year old. He was fourth on stage two and sixth on stage three, until disaster struck again.

“I had quite a bad crash in the Dauphine. When I got up after the crash, I didn’t know where I was or what I was doing. When I got to the hospital they did an MRI but they couldn’t pick up anything. We think it was a slight displacement of one of my vertebrae discs in my neck so I had a bit of soft tissue damage in my neck and I also ripped my tendons in my bicep. My shoulder was hurting too for a whole two months.” Janse van Rensburg said.

The injuries forced him off the bike for three weeks. He was in a race to recover again to make it to the Tour of Poland, his last race in preparation for his major season goal, his grand tour debut in the Vuelta a España.

“My first race was the Tour of Poland in August. I started to feel better again when I got through the race. The Vuelta was always in the back of my mind. It was always the plan to go there but we had to see how my recovery was going. Fortunately I was able to recover in time and build my condition.”

A sterling grand tour debut followed as Janse van Rensburg was often spotted in the front on the stages that suited him. He came out of the race with great form and says he was disappointed not to show it in the world championships road race, a race he didn’t finish. Three days before Binche - Tournai – Binche, Janse van Rensburg just missed out on his first victory of the season when he was forced to settle for second on stage three of Tour de l'Eurométropole. Although it wasn’t a victory, the result proved he had great form following the Vuelta.

The disappointment of missing out on the win didn’t last long for the South African as he lined up for Binche - Tournai – Binche.

“I thought I could win. I knew my condition was good because we had [Tour de l'Eurométropole] just before that and I was feeling good over there. After I crashed I doubted it a little bit but it all worked out quite well in the end.

“It was a big breakthrough for the season. It’s not my first professional win but it’s my first win after turning professional. It’s quite a relief to get the breakthrough,” Janse van Rensburg concluded.


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