Tour de France Stage 17: Serge Pauwels chases the escape pubblicato il 21/07/2016

Tour de France #17: Serge Pauwels chases the escape

Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka search for stage break in the Alps

Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) won stage 17 of the Tour de France by out lasting Jarlinson Pantano (IAM Cycling) and Rafal Majka (Tinkoff) to the finish line at Finhaut-Emosson. Chris Froome (Team Sky) held on to overall leader's the yellow jersey.

Stage 17 was the first really tough Alpine stage of this year's Tour and Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka were looking forward to getting into the early breakaway in the hope of contending for the stage win. A number of teams had the same idea which made for an incredibly fast start. Just more than 51km were completed in the first hour of racing in fact.

Daniel Teklehaimanot was very active in the early part of the stage, as was Serge Pauwels. The break kept on getting chased down though and it took over 70 kilometers for a group of riders to get a real gap. 11 riders went clear followed by a chase group of 8 more riders. Pauwels made it into the chase group for our African Team.

There was so much firepower in the front group with the likes of the World Champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff), Pantano and Zakarin among others present, that it was near on impossible to bring them back. With no GC threats ahead, the peloton sat up and let the break go while Pauwels group was stuck in between. 

There were 2 big climbs to finish off the stage today and this is where the definitive moves were made. Majka and Pantano got a gap on the rest of the break during the descent to the final climb. Zakarin was able to bridge the gap and then put in an attack of his own on the final climb which could not be matched. With no opportunity for a top result on the stage by the time we reached the final 2 climbs, Pauwels rode within himself to finish as our best placed rider, in 29th on the stage.

Roger Hammond - Sport Director
It was a bit of a frustrating day because Serge clearly has some good legs and he is riding really well. He just needed a bit of luck, he was in the wrong half of the group when it split and missed the opportunity to go across to the leaders. On the penultimate climb he was riding as fast as anybody up the mountain. The front group weren't riding away from him and the GC contenders behind weren't catching him. So it wasn't an ability thing it was a positioning thing which is frustrating for Serge, I felt sorry for him.

Team Dimension Data For Qhubeka

Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka was founded in 2007, steadily working its way up from a regional team to now being a World Tour team with bases in South Africa and Italy. It’s also known as Africa’s Team due to its focus on helping African talents to the world stage of cycling. The team races to raise funds for the Qhubeka Charity to mobilise people on bicycles in Africa. To contribute to the #BicyclesChangeLivescampaign, click here.

Qhubeka is an Nguni word that means “to progress”“to move forward”. Qhubeka ( is part of World Bicycle Relief (, a global non-profit organisation dedicated to advancing education, health and economic opportunities by providing simple, sustainable transportation through the power of bicycles.  

Dimension Data ( uses the power of technology to help organisations achieve great things in the digital era. As a member of the NTT Group, we accelerate our clients’ ambitions through digital infrastructure, hybrid cloud, workspaces for tomorrow, and cybersecurity. With a turnover of USD 7.5 billion, offices in 58 countries, and 31,000 employees, we deliver wherever our clients are, at every stage of their technology journey. We’re proud to be the Official Technology Partner of Amaury Sport Organisation, organiser of the Tour de France, and the title partner of the cycling team, Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka.

Learn more about the team at

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