Walscheid delivers strong performance as Henao battles through the pain on stage 20 of Le Tour France
Max Walscheid once again delivered another strong individual time trial performance as he finished 17th on the penultimate stage of the Tour de France, which was won by Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma).
Walscheid followed up his excellent performances at the Giro d'Italia with another strong ride over the 30.8km course, that saw him briefly in the 'hot seat” after posting a time of 37'54″ before being usurped by Mikkel Bjerg (UAE).
Sergio Henao battled his way to the finish line still suffering from an arm injury suffered during a crash in the Pyrenees and slipped one position in the overall classification to 21st.
While the likes of Simon Clarke, Carlos Barbero and Sean Bennett all finished their races ahead of the ceremonial final stage that finishes in Paris on Mandela Day.
It was nice to finally be in the “hot seat” at the Tour. That was my goal going into the ride, to have the best time when I rolled over the finish line and I achieved that so I am happy.
Now for Paris, which I'm really looking forward to. To ride on the Champs-Élysées on Mandela Day is going to be very special.
The last three days have not been the best for me, crashing twice. Yesterday was difficult for me with the arm being very, very painful today and will also likely be tomorrow (on the cobbles in Paris). Let's hope I have a good night and finish well tomorrow as the Tour comes to an end.
It's been frustrating as I had been feeling really good, the legs were good and I felt like I could have an impact in the final parts of the stages but the crash meant it was very tough to handle the bike and so I'm just focused on trying to finish the Tour on Sunday, on Mandela Day.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Team Qhubeka NextHash.
Jean Smyth (Head of Communications)
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About Team Qhubeka NextHash:
Team Qhubeka NextHash is a purpose-led, 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-ever African cycling team to gain a UCI WorldTour license, in 2016.
We achieved our first major win in 2013 when Gerald Ciolek won Milan-San Remo, one of the five Monuments of cycling. We have competed in six Tour de France’s and notched up 7 stage wins, with Mark Cavendish wearing the coveted Yellow Jersey at the 2016 Tour de France.
We are a multicultural, diverse team with bases in South Africa, the Netherlands and Italy. There are 19 nationalities represented across our World Tour and continental feeder team rosters. Our focus on developing African cycling has resulted in more than 55 riders from the African continent be given the opportunity to race on the world stage, since the team's inception.
We race to help people to move forward with bicycles through our relationship with Qhubeka Charity. Through our work with Qhubeka, we have contributed to the distribution of over 30 000 bicycles in communities in South Africa.
Qhubeka is a charity that moves people forward with bicycles. People earn bicycles through our programmes, improving their access to schools, clinics and jobs.
A bicycle is a tool that helps people to travel faster and further, and to carry more. In the face of extreme and persistent poverty, bicycles can change lives by helping to address socioeconomic challenges at the most basic level – helping people to get where they need to go.
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