Coppi e Bartali #3: Johann van Zyl makes the break, again
Louis Meintjes positioned well on GC
As he has multiple times this year already, Johann van Zyl made sure Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung were represented in the breakaway during the 3rd Coppi Bartali stage. The stage would end in a mass sprint though with Francesco Chicci (Androni-Giocattoli) reigning victorious.
There were a total of 11 riders in the main escape of the day, joining Johann was countryman Dylan Girdlestone (Drapac) in the move to make it 2 riders from Africa out in the lead. The peloton allowed the attackers to gain a maximum advantage of 3 minutes before Bardiani and Team Sky began the calculated chase.
With a fast and flat run in to the line the sprinters were always going to fancy the finish today. With 15km to go it was only Johann, Girdlestone and Giorgio Cecchinel (Southeast) remaining at the head of the race with a 20″ lead. Their advantage was soon wiped away and Chicci romped to victory ahead of Manuel Belletti (Southeast) and Daniele Colli (Nippo-Vini Fantini).
Louis Meintjes finished safely in the main bunch to hold on to his 6th position overall ahead of tomorrow’s deciding final stage. With 10 riders all within of a minute of a podium placing, an attacking day of racing is expected.
Johann van Zyl – Rider
Today was quite a gamble with regard to going in the break or not. I was hoping if the right combination of riders got a gap then we could make it stick and eventually we were a group of 11. We had to ride pretty hard all day as Bardiani wanted to sprint. Eventually 3 of us attacked the break with 2 laps to go to see if we could make it, obviously we didn’t. One day my break will stick.
About MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung was founded in 2007, steadily working its way up from a regional team to now being a Continental Pro team with bases in South Africa and Italy. MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung’s goal is to give talented African riders a path into the pro peloton while raising funds for the Qhubeka charity.
Qhubeka is an Nguni (Zulu, Xhosa) word that means “to carry on”, “to progress”, “to move forward”. Qhubeka (qhubeka.org) helps people move forward and progress by giving bicycles in return for work done to improve communities, the environment or academic results. Having a bicycle changes people’s lives by increasing the distance they can travel, what they can carry, where they can go and how fast they can get there. To contribute to the #BicyclesChangeLives Campaign, click here.
MTN (mtn.co.za) is a long-time supporter of Qhubeka and the team. Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a leading emerging market operator, connecting 219.2 million subscribers in 22 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.