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Found 12 results

  1. The Maritime Alps characterise the hinterland of Nice and the first climb of the day awaited the peloton only a few kilometres into the race. Our Algerian fast man Youcef Reguigui had to call it quits on the early slopes of the Côte de Gattièrres due to a knee injury he sustained a few days ago. Luck didn’t pick up for our African team with Jacques Janse van Rensburg crashing hard on the descent of this very climb. The South African finished the race, yet was out of contention for the later stages of the race. Over the following kilometres a group of 8 riders managed to go clear. Led be Antoine Duchesne (Direct Energie) the group built up a lead of around a minute with the Canadian biding his time again with around 30 kilometers to go to move into the KOM lead. In the peloton Tinkoff controlled the pace for Alberto Contador who finally came to the fore on the last climb. All riders of the former break were reeled back in, when the overall contenders put their cards on the table. After a few attacks by the Spaniard it was Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) who took the win. Geraint Thomas (Sky) denied Contador the second place, earning the yellow jersey of the race leader. Serge Pauwels was the best place finisher for Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka on this tough day. He managed to stay with the favourites until the final climb but couldn’t match their pace in the end. We had had hoped for a good race for Serge and Jacques today. However, after the crash we had to change our plans. Jacques was in pain all stage long, but fought to the end. Serge tried to stay with the favourites, but it was a hard task being on his own for most of the race on such a demanding day. Tomorrow this Paris-Nice comes to a close and we hope for more luck then. Alex Sans Vega – Sports Director
  2. For Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka the day began with Jacques Janse van Rensburg not able to take the start. Our South African climber crashed during yesterday's stage and while he was able to finish the stage, Janse van Rensburg injured his ribs which prevented him from racing today's final stage. With just 4 riders left in the race, it was always going to be a difficult day for our African Team going up against the world's best. Matthew Brammeier tried to put up a bit of a fight by riding across to the large 22 rider breakaway that formed early on. Just after making the junction though, Brammeier was distanced as some serious climbing began. The stage was then set for the main GC contenders to light the race up over the final 2 category 1 climbs of the day. Our 4 remaining African Team riders had to take a backseat as the likes of Contador, Porte and Thomas went head to head for the yellow jersey. In the end, Thomas would come out on top and did enough to win the 2016 Paris-Nice by 4 seconds from Contador. The 2016 Paris-Nice is a race that we will put behind us very quickly. The race took place in some very difficult weather conditions and we were unfortunate to have some of our riders crash at critical points of the race. 4 of our riders weren't able to make it to Nice because of their injuries sustained during the race. This made it a very difficult week for our boys but we have a lot of important races coming up and our focus has already shifted to these events. Jean Pierre Heynderickx - Sport Director
  3. Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) won the 5th stage of the Paris-Nice after a late solo break. Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) took the bunch sprint for 2nd and race leader Michael Matthews (Orica-Greenedge) was 3rd. Click here to view the article
  4. It was a tough stage today as the 197km from Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux to Salon-de-Provence included 5 categorised climbs, with Mont-Ventoux included among the collection of ascents. An early breakaway of 8 riders quickly opened up an 8-minute gap inside of the first 30km. The climbing then started and a natural selection began taking place as riders were dropped from the break and the peloton. The race would continually splinter and then regroup on each climb and respective descent. After the final climb of the day was completed, there was just a sole survivor from the original break 1 minute up the road. The peloton had also shrunk to just 30 riders with Serge Pauwels present for our African Team. Lutsenko took his chance to bridge across and then pass the sole escapee, to go in pursuit of victory alone. The peloton would regroup to 90 riders as they made their way to the finish but the Astana rider had 50 seconds on the pack and he would not be caught. Pauwels would follow the wheels of the sprinters to cross the line in 14th position. Today was not an easy day. The break went very early but with this course which included over 3000m of climbing and the ascent of Mont Ventoux, we knew it was going to be a hard day. The peloton broke a couple of times and then after the last climb we were left with only 20 – 25 riders beore a big bunch came back in the final. We sprinted behind an Astana rider who got away in the final but for me the most important was that I felt good. There will be opportunities tomorrow and the next day so we will see what we can do. Serge Pauwels – Rider
  5. Michael Matthews (Orica-Greenedge) won the 2nd stage of the Paris-Nice after Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) crossed the line first but was later relegated to 3rd place for dangerous sprinting. Niccolo Bonafazio (Trek-Segafredo) was the rider who was then promoted to 2nd on the stage. Click here to view the article
  6. The early part of the stage saw the riders start the long 214km haul from Contres to Commentry with temperatures only around 4 degrees Celsius. 4 riders decided to turn up the heat somewhat by attacking within the first 5km of the stage. The peloton let them go without much of a fight and they soon had a 10-minute lead over the rest of the race. As the stage never had any notable climbs to speak of, it was tailor-made for the sprinters. This counted against the leading 4 as a number of teams were willing to assist Orica-Greenedge with the pace making, particularly at the back end of the stage. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka were riding for Youcef Reguigui today and so with 15km to go, Nathan Haas brought our African Team to the head of the peloton. The break was finally caught with 11km to go and it was then a jostle for position between the sprinters teams. Haas and Tyler Farrar were doing a sterling job to keep Reguigui up front until 5km to go, from thereon the Algerian would fend for himself. Reguigui was on the wheel of Bouhanni with 2km to go before being bumped out of line. The sprint opened up with Bouhanni going for the win, the Frenchman started fading just before the line and as Matthews tried to pass on the inside, the Cofidis rider narrowed the gap between the barrier and himself. Reguigui was in the mix right until the end and at the finish, he was credited with 12th place on the stage. It was a typical sprint stage today. 4 riders went away early on and then the GC leading team and 1 rider from Etixx-Quickstep controlled the stage all day. The stage ended with 1 local lap which had many roundabouts so it was a technical sprint. We were going for Youcef today and it was looking good but in the sprint things can change so fast. At 1km to go he was boxed in and couldn't get his sprint going. The positive thing today was that there was no rain. It was very cold but at least it was dry. This is better for our boys and every day the weather is getting better now so this is good. Jean-Pierre Heynderickx - Sport Director
  7. Arnaud Demare (FDJ) won the first road stage of the Paris-Nice, out-sprinting Ben Swift (Team Sky) and Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) to take the victory on a cold day in Vendome. Michael Matthews (Orica-Greenedge) retained the leader’s yellow jersey. Click here to view the article
  8. The day started off with snow greeting the riders on the start line in Conde-sur-Vesgre. As soon as the flag dropped for racing to get underway, 4 riders attacked and quickly started to pry open an advantage. Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Fixall), Steven Tronet (Fortuneo), Thierry Hupond (Delko Marseille Provence KTM) and Perrig Quemeneur (Direct Energie) were the aggressors. At one stage the 4 leaders had over 9 minutes on the peloton. With 90km to go, the peloton sprung to life and began chasing down the quartet. As the peloton was hit by a crosswind, the group started to splinter as the pace just kept increasing. As a group of about 40 riders went off the front, Tyler Farrar and Serge Pauwels were positioned in the 2nd group on the road with our other riders left chasing in group 3. As Team Sky and Orica-Greenedge kept the pressure on in the front group, the gap to the breakaway tumbled and they were caught with 15km to go. The 2nd group never gave up on chasing the first group though and with 10km to go, Pauwels made it back to the head of the race thanks to some good team work by Tyler Farrar and Nathan Haas. The 4 gravel sections that came in the final 30km of the race certainly made things interesting, but it did not stop a mass sprint from deciding the stage. It was a hard day for the boys, with most of them coming from the dessert race's like Qatar and Oman where it was 30 degrees. Today for the most part of the day it was cold, raining, snowing and windy. So it was a tough day for our team. We hope that the weather will be better in the next days and we remain positive to take a good result. Jean-Pierre Heynderickx - Sport Director
  9. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka did not have a specialist for today's violent prologue effort, as our roster is concentrated on the tough climbing stages still to come this week. Our fastest finisher on the day would be Tyler Farrar, the American's 8'14" was just 35 seconds off Matthew's winning time. Our remaining 7 African Team riders all finished within a minute and 4 seconds off of Matthew's, setting up an exciting week of racing. Tomorrow will be the first road stage of the Paris-Nice, a mostly flat 198km that could be one of the few opportunities for the sprinters. There will be a few gravel sectors in the final 30 kilometres of the stage though that could shake things up a little. Today was mostly just about getting things going for the rest of the week. I am definitely not any sort of time trial specialist but it was nice to open up the legs a little bit and put a hard effort in. Hopefully it has primed the engine now for the next few days. Tyler Farrar - Rider
  10. The Paris-Nice got underway with a 6.1km prologue earlier today. Michael Matthews (Orica-Greenedge) clocked the best time of the day to take the first yellow jersey of the race. Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) was 2nd and Patrick Bevin (Cannondale) finished 3rd. Click here to view the article
  11. The next UCI World Tour event is upon us, as Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka are set to start the Paris-Nice on Sunday 6 March. It will be the first time our African Team takes part in the prestigious "Race to the Sun". Click here to view the article
  12. Starting with a 6km prologue on Sunday, riders then have to contend with 7 tough road stages as they head from the North of France to the South, ultimately finishing in Nice on Sunday 13 March. After the flat prologue, the opening 2 stages could be 2 possible opportunities for the sprinters. Stage 1 will see riders deal with 4 short cobble sections in the final 30km however, we don't expect the pave to have too much of an effect on the outcome of the stage. Stages 3 - 7 will all contain vast amounts climbing and clearly suit the punchers and the climbers. Two of the most key stages for the overall could very well be stages 3 and 6. Stage 3 finishes on the category 2 Mont Brouilly climb while the queen stage is deemed to be stage 7, as riders will have to deal with 7 categorised climbs in total, finishing with the 15km category 1 climb of La Madone d'Utelle. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka will send a versatile group of riders to the 74th edition of this French World Tour event, definitely looking to target top results on certain stages. Jacques Janse van Rensburg, Serge Pauwels and Daniel Teklehaimanot will hope to thrive on the mountain stages while Nathan Haas and Youcef Reguigui will fancy the stages for the punchers. Tyler Farrar, Jay Thomson and Matt Brammeier give us great options to contest the possible sprint finishes as well as animate the race in the later stages. I am excited to be racing my first Paris-Nice. After some good racing in Oman and some promising training tests done in Lucca, I am confident that my form is quite good now and so I hope I am able to turn that into a result. We will have a really nice team at the race and it is a great opportunity to be a bit aggressive from our side. Jacques Janse van Rensburg - Rider
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