By Mark Etheridge
South African cyclists this week woke up wondering if news that they were part of the MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsumg team for the Tour de France was still a dream.
The trio of Louis Meintjes, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg and namesake Jacques Janse van Rensburg were all included in a nine-man team to do duty in world cycling’s most famous race.
Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (above), who was part of Team South Africa at the 2011 All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique, and went on to win numerous stages at international road races, told Road to Rio 2016: ‘Yeah I’m very happy. It’s a dream come true for sure. It’s great to see such a long-term vision coming into fruition.’
‘But I’m not celebrating yet, the hard work only start snow, but I ‘m definitely looking forward to it now.’
And the Pretoria rider says the TDF won’t be a completely unknown factor. ‘We saw some of the stages that will be doing in the recent Criterium du Dauphine and also the first stage in the Netherlands in another race at World Ports classic.
‘I think we’re as ready as we could be. So for the time being I’m pretty relaxed about it.’
Added former World Under-23 silver medallist and climber of note, Meintjes: ‘It’s definitely a dream come true. I’m really looking forward to the whole experience and hopefully I can have a good tour.
‘But I just have to say thanks to all the people who have helped me get to this point, it has been a real team effort.’