The stage started off with a sprint prime coming early on. Janse van Rensburg took 2nd place behind the yellow jersey wearer of Andrea Guardini (Astana) at the prime and this gave our Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka rider a few bonus seconds for the general classification. 3 riders from local Asian teams then got into the break of the day, which later became 4 riders when another domestic Asian team rider joined them later on in the stage.
Tinkoff, Astana and United Healthcare did a lot of the early pace setting from the peloton and they kept close tabs on the break, not allowing them to get more than a 5-minute lead. With 40km to go, the chase to reel in the escapees began. As the final 20km was all uphill, the peloton had the upper hand over the break.
While Janse van Rensburg has certainly erred more to the title of sprinter than climber in the past, Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka always believed Janse van Rensburg could put in a good ride on this climb and so our African Team rode in full support of the South African today. As the peloton slowly began to whittle down on the climb, Janse van Rensburg was showing his versatility always riding near the front with the rest of our African Team, trying to keep the race together as much as possible.
With 5km to go the break was caught and the climbers started attacking. Lopez put in the first meaningful acceleration and quickly got a gap. The United Healthcare team tried to respond but they couldn't get onto the wheel of the Astana rider. Janse van Rensburg could not match the accelerations of the smaller climbers but he just kept a consistently hard tempo going. Lopez went on to cross the line alone, 30 seconds ahead of Jaramillo and Janse van Rensburg out sprinted the climbers he was with to take 3rd place, just 5 seconds further back.
The result of the stage now places Janse van Rensburg 2nd on the general classification, 29 seconds behind Lopez and still 4 flat stages are left to race. Bonus seconds could play an important role in the final result come next Wednesday.