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Songezo Jim looks on the bright side

By:
Cycling News
Published:
August 10, 2013, 20:05 BST,
Updated:
August 13, 2013, 21:08 BST

South African misses out but enjoys American experience

Songezo Jim in Utah

Songezo Jim in Utah

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We came to USA to do Tour of Elk Grove and Tour of Utah. I think the two races are very good for us and we would love to be back for them.

Elk Grove was a three-day tour and we had good race. Then we started the Tour of Utah which was our main goal as we hare here to finish high on GC. It's been bittersweet though. We had bad luck on stage 2 as we lost Louis Meintjes to a crash. He knocked his head really hard but we were all relieved to see he was OK once he got back from the hospital.

The bad luck kept coming our way as I crashed with 10 kilometres to go on stage 3. It was on a long downhill and my bike went over the side and it took forever to get it out.

Our team car was in the front group so I lost time but finally got my bike back. Unfortunately the left shifter was broken so I couldn't
even go on the big ring. It meant I didn't make the time cut by less than a minute and that was the end of my Tour of Utah.

I heard that people like Jens Voigt were campaigning for me to be back in the race and some of the other RadioShack guys. They are our Trek brothers so I appreciated that. The referees didn't budge though. Who are they to not listen to Jens Voigt haha.

It's not the end of the World though and Tsgaby Grmay is flying the flag of us. He is still in the top 20 of the race and second in the young rider competition. I';l be watching and routing for him on the next mountain stages. Now I am changing my focus to the rest of the year as we have a lot of racing to come. Let's hope it gets better from here. I would also like to say thanks to the American people. We've been received so well at the race and everyone has been so friendly.

Author
MTN-Qhubeka Tour of Utah blog

The first truly African professional continental team will compete in North America for the first time, and take part in the Tour of Utah from August 6-11, 2013, bringing an international flair to the UCI 2.1-ranked race. The team celebrated its first WorldTour victory in March with the Milan-San Remo win by Gerald Ciolek, and will be looking to make a big splash in America. South Africans Jacques Janse van Renseburg, Louis Meintjes, Martin Wesemann and Songezo Jim will be joined by Meron Russom of Eritrea, Tsgabu Grmay of Ethiopia, Algerian Youcef Reguigui and Italian Kristian Sbaragli for the race, and will share their experiences with Cyclingnews.    

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