Cyclismenews seen how a handful of riders sprinted the last kilometers of the climb to Tignes on stage 9, finishing just in time, while Groupama-FDJ sprinter Arnaud Démare and six others failed to do so and were cruelly excluded from the race on the eve of the first day of rest in the Alps.Nic Dlamini (Qhubeka NextHash) crossed the finish line solo, finishing after seven hours, and one hour and 25 minutes after Ben O’Connor (AG2R-Citroën) won the stage. He was 40 minutes from the time limit of 37:20, calculated from 14% of the time of the winner of the stage of 5:04:03. There are only 165 riders left on the Tour de France.
Dlamini was making his first Tour de France and making history as the first black South African to participate in the sport’s biggest race. He is a role model for many in South Africa, especially in the townships where he grew up and is now trying to inspire other black runners.
Dlamini crashed at the start of the 144km mountain stage to Tignes, but proudly refused to come down and throw in the towel. He fought to the finish and was cheered when he crossed the line, even after most fans returned home and crews started to tear down the finish area.
The race marshals sometimes take special circumstances into account and allow a rider to continue a race despite a finish outside the allotted time. But with Dlamini losing so much time, they had no choice but to list him as OTL (Outside Time Limit) in the official results.
“I wanted to honor my dream of riding the Tour,” said the Qhubeka NextHash team, said Dlamini, also citing their motto “Ubuntu: I am because we are” to show the spirit of Dlamini and the team. .