The Campenaerts Tour de France ends in the Ventoux
Wout van Aert (Team Jumbo Visma) won stage 11 of the Tour de France, being the strongest of a 16 rider breakaway to conquer the famous Mont Ventoux twice.
The 11th stage of the Tour de France was a tough 199 km event that also included two climbs of the famous Mont Ventoux, before descending until the finish in Malaucène. It was a quick start to the stage as almost all the teams were hoping to enter the break today.
After a little over 50 km of racing, the peloton finally allowed a few riders to go up the road, and the leading group of 16 riders had formed before the first of the two climbs of the Ventoux.
For the Qhubeka NextHash team, it was always going to be a day of survival, a task that was unfortunately a step too far for Victor Campenaerts.
Leading the race however, it was van Aert who proved to be a class above the rest. He is one of the 7 remaining breakaways to cross the foot of Ventoux for the last time, with 4’30 ” ahead of the yellow jersey group.
At the start of the climb, the Belgian simply pulled away from everyone and also maintained his lead over the yellow jersey chasing group. He launched solo towards the line to claim a brilliant stage victory.
Tadej Pogacar (United Arab Emirates Team Emirates) once again retained their lead in the overall standings. The 6 remaining riders of the Qhubeka NextHash team all completed the stage within the allotted time.
Today was a special day, it’s a special mountain anyway, and for me it’s the first mountain I ever rode on a bike, long before I was a cyclist, when I was 14 in 2006, I did it with my father; and today on the Mont Ventoux at the Tour de France my father was waiting there to shout at me.
I had a difficult Tour and I was very tired, and I had difficulties at the start of the stage and some riders around me gave up but I wanted to continue doing the Ventoux at least once to be sure of see my father. It was a good time to see him there at the top and then it was pretty clear that the cut time was unrealistic so we got a chance to stop and spend some time together.
I started this year in the Classics then the Giro, followed by the Tour de France and racing in a very different way. I used to focus on the time trial which has its own peculiarities but this year I really tried to change the way of riding and not focus on the time trial anymore.
We run as a team in the spirit of Ubuntu – I am because we are – as one team. We had some great results, particularly highlighted at the Giro with three wins in five days and we tried to see where my limits were and that’s why we had such a busy race schedule. I always give all I can in every race I start but I suffered during this Tour and today I just couldn’t keep in touch and my race ends.
I wish all my teammates the best for the rest of the race and I will be behind them every time I pedal to Paris.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the Qhubeka NextHash team.
Jean Smyth (communication manager)
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +27 63 470 1710 or +31 625 739 033
About the Qhubeka NextHash team:
The Qhubeka NextHash team is a goal-driven high performance team, fighting to win on the world’s biggest stage, to inspire hope and create opportunity. Founded in 2007, Team Qhubeka NextHash (formerly NTT Pro Cycling) became the first African cycling team to win a UCI WorldTour license, in 2016.
We had our first major victory in 2013 when Gerald Ciolek won Milan-San Remo, one of the five monuments of cycling. We have competed in six Tour de France and won 7 stage victories, with Mark Cavendish wearing the coveted Yellow Jersey at the Tour de France 2016.
We are a multicultural and diverse team with bases in South Africa, the Netherlands and Italy. There are 19 nationalities represented in our World Tour and Continental Feeder team rosters. Our focus on the development of African cycling has enabled more than 55 riders from the African continent to be offered the opportunity to race on the world stage since the inception of the team.
We run to help people get ahead with cycling through our relationship with Qhubeka Charity. Through our work with Qhubeka, we have helped distribute over 30,000 bikes to communities across South Africa.
Qhubeka is a charity that gets people moving with bikes. People are gaining bicycles through our programs, improving their access to schools, clinics and jobs.
A bicycle is a tool that helps people travel faster, farther, and carry more. In the face of extreme and persistent poverty, bikes can change lives by helping tackle socio-economic challenges at the most basic level – helping people get to where they need to go.
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