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"We have got a few riders that can do well so we will give it a good shot tomorrow and see what the team can do," Venter says

Photo: Unipublic/Graham Watson

BRABANTSE PIJL

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JACOBUS JOHANNES VENTER

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JAY ROBERT THOMSON

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LINUS GERDEMANN

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MARTIN REIMER

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16.04.2014 @ 13:44 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Having recently come back from a lengthy illness layoff, Linus Gerdemann will lead MTN-Qhubeka in today's Brabantse Pijl. With the German not yet in his best form, the team will try to animate the race.

 

De Brabantse Pijl is the final Spring Classic on the Belgian calendar and is also the race that typically see’s the professional peleton transition from the ‘Cobbled Spring Classics’ to the Ardennes Classics. This will be the 2nd time Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung participate in the Brabantse Pijl after the African squad was on the start line last year already.

 

The 203km route with 26 Hellingen’s provides for an extremely selective race, this could be seen last year when the top 12 finishers crossed the line individually. The first 133km is relatively easy with 5 hills on route from Leuven to Overijse. Then the peleton enter onto a 24km circuit containing 5 climbs, they will have to complete the circuit 3 times. This finishing circuit is usually where the race is decided as riders seem to drop one after the other with every passing climb, making the race one of survival really.

 

Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung will be lead by our German rider, Linus Gerdemann at De Brabantse Pijl. Gerdemann made a welcome return to racing after a long illness layoff when he finished in the main bunch at the GP Cerami on Saturday. Gerdemann will be flanked by Dennis van Niekerk, Jay Thomson, Jaco Venter, Martin Wesemann, Ferekalsi Debesay, Martin Reimer and Kristian Sbaragli during the race. Sbaragli also returned from illness at GP Cerami and impressed with a top 10 finish.

 

"The Brabantse Pijl start list is certainly a who’s who of world cycling, there are so many big names at this race," DS Jens Zemke says. "It is the first race the team participates in after Mzansi Tour but this race will show that the level in Europe is much higher than in Africa as it will be a tough race.

 

"That said, it is important to show our flag in Africa and to be Africans No 1 team. We are all proud of how the team rode in the Mzanzi Tour because it is never easy to win a race and we will now start De Brabantse Pijl very motivated."

 

 

"I haven’t done this race before but I know it’s going to be hard and there is a testing circuit at the the end with lots of steep climbs on narrow roads," Venter said. "We have got a few riders that can do well so we will give it a good shot tomorrow and see what the team can do."

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