Local cyclist shines in France

2015-07-30 10:14
JACQUES JANSE VAN RENSBURG qualified for the 102nd edition of the Tour de France, held from 4 to 26 July this year.       
Photo: Supplied

JACQUES JANSE VAN RENSBURG qualified for the 102nd edition of the Tour de France, held from 4 to 26 July this year. Photo: Supplied

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LOCAL cyclist Jacques Janse van Rensburg raised South Africa’s flag at this year’s Tour de France – the 102nd edition of this international cycling competition.

The golden boy from Virginia was a member of the MTN Qhubeka team that did exceptionally well at the Tour de France.

Janse van Rensburg’s participation in this world ­renowned competition is a dream come true.

He resides in Lucca, Italy, where he has been living for the past two years with his wife, Genee (born Steyn).

“Jacques had a dream to ride the Tour de France.

“It became ours as well, but it is his hard work and dedication that made it a reality,” says Ciska du Plessis-Austin, his manager.

It was in 2004 that Janse van Rensburg first travelled to Europe to participate in international events.

He finished eighth in the International Oberösterreich Junior Tour in Austria.

This achievement proved that he had a cycling career ahead of him and inspired the Free State-born cyclist to greater heights.

In 2005 he moved to Heidelberg in Gauteng to be closer to the main racing events under the mentorship of his coach, Barry Austin.

“Jacques is one of the cyclists in the world closest to our heart, as he had been part of our academy since the start.

“LEADout Cycling (previously known as ACI) has been managing cyclists since 2003.

“We were introduced to youth and junior cycling by assisting a young team, at the time sponsored by Goldco Midas, at the national u.16 tour.

“Jacques formed part of this team and joined us permanently after that weekend with Barry Austin as his coach.”

However, nothing has come easy for Janse van Rensburg, a hard worker who sharpens by training on types of terrain which challenges him to reach his peak.

“At least once a month (sometimes more), they (with coach Barry) would make their way to Lesotho to train in the mountains on the longer passes.

“These include the Moteng Pass, the Mahlasele Pass and Katse Dam.”

In 2006 Jacques joined Konica Minolta, followed by Team Exel and Team Neotel in the next two years. He was also one of two South African riders selected to be based at the World Cycling Centre.

“He gained valuable assistance through the centre, as well as Team Marco Polo from the Netherlands, prior to riding for Team Burgos of Spain during 2010.

In 2011 Jacques returned to do some mountain-bike events for DCM Racing prior to signing a MTB contract with MTN in 2011.

“With road racing in his blood, it was a match made in heaven as the MTN Qhubeka Team registered Pro Continental thereafter and Jacques was able to join the team as well,” says Du Plessis-Austin.

Jacques had a dream to ride the Tour de France. It became ours as well, but it is his hard work and de­dication that made it a ­reality

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