Team win for MTN-Qhubeka in Korea

first_img13 June 2013Team MTN-Qhubeka won the stage five team time trial of the Tour de Korea on Wednesday, giving the team its second victory of the race after sprinter Kristian Sbaragli claimed a win on the opening stage.The stage was contested over 25.5 kilometres and the South African team blazed through the course in a time of 35 minutes and 19 seconds.Africa’s first Professional Continental team was fourth fastest at the intermediate time check, a considerable 46 seconds down after navigating through the first hilly part of the course.The deficit, though, was turned around during the second half and the men in yellow and black crossed the line just one second ahead of second placed Champion System. Rapha Condor JLT placed third.Strategy“Our strategy from the start was to keep it nice and steady to the first climb, get over that intact and drive hard between the climbs,” Sports Director Kevin Campbell said. “Then we wanted to keep a nice steady tempo on the second climb and at the top give full-gas until the finish.“The whole team was riding very well on the climbs. I thought it would be Dennis van Niekerk and Louis Meintjes that set the tempo, but they rode it very much as a group.“After the climb everybody gave it their all. Martin (Wesemann) was driving it really well, Johann (van Zyl) was driving it really well, and Louis was also going superbly on the flat stretches.‘Every rider contributed’“Every rider contributed, even Kristian (Sbaragli). He’s no TT specialist, but he was driving as hard as the rest. I was very pleased with that,” he added.Sbaragli retains the blue jersey as the leader of the points’ classification and remains in the top 10 of the general classification (GC).Campbell said the sprinter has surprised with his form in the Tour. “When we came into the Tour we did nominate Dennis and Louis as our GC guys because we can’t come into a race in Asia with one GC contender; the racing is just too unpredictable. We chose them as equal GC contenders and the way it’s worked out, Dennis has been the right man, in the right moves at the right time.”Good form“We’re now thinking Kristian… can also be in with a chance. We were worried that he wouldn’t get over the climb on the third stage, but then he went over it and finished in the front group. Now we definitely see how well he is riding.”The victory in the team time trial was Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung’s seventh in its debut season as a Professional Continental team.The MTN-Qhubeka team for the Tour of Korea is made up of Louis Meintjes (RSA), Johann Van Zyl (RSA), Bradley Potgieter (RSA), Martin Wesemann (RSA), Dennis Van Niekerk (RSA), Songezo Jim (RSA) and Kristian Sbaragli (Ita).SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img

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