Cape Town - The final stage of the 2016 Tour de Langkawi saw Andrea Guardini (Astana) sprint to his fourth 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.
Reinardt was thrilled with the overall win.
“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.”
Only a flat 119.2km stage to Melaka stood between Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka and defending the overall race victory from last year. Janse van Rensburg had an 11-second buffer over Daniel Jaramillo (United Healthcare) at the stage start, which he then extended by three seconds after winning the first intermediate sprint at kilometre 16.
A three-rider break was then allowed to go clear. Being the final stage, a number of teams had an interest in getting something out of the race and so a few squads sent riders to help the African Team with the pacing. When the peloton arrived in Melaka for the three 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.
Going under the final kilometre 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.
Jens Zemke, the team’s sports director, said, “This 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.”
Results on Wednesday from the final stage eight of Le Tour de
Langkawi, a 119.2km ride between Batu Pahat and Malacca in
1. Andrea Guardini (ITA/Astana Pro Team) 2r 42min 55sec, 2. Jakub
Mareczko (ITA/ Southeast-Venezuela) at same time, 3. Shiki Kuroeda
(JPN/Aisan Racing Team) s.t.
1. Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA/Dimension Data) 28hr 31min 21sec,
2. Daniel Alexander Jaramillo Diez (COL/UnitedHealthCare Professional)
28hr 31min 39 sec, 3. Miguel Lopez Moreno (COL/Astana Pro Team) 28hr