The final stage of the 2016 Tour de Langkawi saw Andrea Guardini (Astana) sprint to his 4th stage win of the race. In the overall classification though, it was Reinardt Janse van Rensburg who rode away as the 2016 Le Tour de Langkawi Champion.
This morning it was only a flat 119km stage to Melaka that stood between Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka and defending the overall race victory from last year. Reinardt Janse van Rensburg had an 11 second buffer over Daniel Jaramillo (United Healthcare) at the stage start, which he then extended by 3 seconds after winning the first intermediate sprint of today's stage at kilometer 16.
A 3 rider break was then allowed to go clear, being the final stage though, a number of teams had an interest in getting something out of the race and so a few squads sent riders to help our African Team with the pacing. As expected, when the peloton arrived in Melaka for the 3 local finishing laps, the break was all but doomed. Janse van Rensburg just had to ensure he kept it upright and finished with the front group in order to win the race overall.
Once again the Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka boys were fantastic in protecting Janse van Rensburg during the final nervy sprint finish. Adrien Niyonshuti, Songezo Jim, Johann van Zyl, Nicolas Dougall and Jaco Venter never left our race leaders side and with 5km to go, the team placed Janse van Rensburg in the safest position possible, the front of the peloton.
Going under the final kilometer banner, the sprint opened up with a big fight for position. Janse van Rensburg chose to follow the wheels of the front runners but did not get involved in the chaos to ensure the Tour de Langkawi yellow jersey will stay with Africa's Team for another year.
I am super happy to finally get a big victory again. It is my first tour victory since 2012 and first victory since 2013. But, I need to thank all of my team for working day in, day out for me and making sure I was protected. I really couldn't have done it without them. Now I am really looking forward to starting my European campaign in Tirreno, Milan-Sanremo and the rest of the classics.
Reinardt Janse van Rensburg - Rider
What can I say, this is a great feeling. It is the first time in the history of the race that a team could defend the victory. For Reinardt it is great because his last win was in 2013, so it nice for him to get his confidence back and get him back on track to being a race winner. I must say without this strong team he would not have achieved the win. We had 5 very committed and very strong guys working all out for him. Riding on the front all day, closing gaps and fixing difficult situations so a big compliment to the complete team. Also, a big thanks must go to our hard working staff here in Langkawi. The Tour de Langkawi is a fantastic race, it is very well organised with so many spectators and a lot of passion is shown for bicycle racing here. It is the biggest race in Asia and this is a big win for our team, which we are very happy with.
Jens Zemke - Sport Director