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"I am happy with the improvement in my performance since I did this race last year but the season is still young and I want to continue improving," Meintjes says

LOUIS MEINTJES

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NTT PRO CYCLING TEAM

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TOUR OF THE ALPS

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25.04.2014 @ 17:42 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

One year ago Louis Meintjes made a name for himself when he finished 2nd at the U23 World Championships and today he proved to the world that he can also mix it up with the very best. The young MTN-Qhubeka rider was the lone leader of the Giro del Trentino queen stage until the 2km to go mark where he was passed by eventual stage winner Mikel Landa (Astana) but held onto second on the stage and moved into fifth overall in one of the hardest races on the calendar.

 

The final stage of the Giro del Trentino came to it's conclusion today with Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung having another spectacular day. Louis Meintjes, South African champion, managed to out climb the likes of Bradley Wiggins (Sky) and Cadel Evans (BMC) to take 2nd place on the stage. Meintjes would only be beaten by Mikel Landa (Astana), finishing just 10 seconds behind the Spaniard. Franco Pellizotti (Androni-Giocattoli) was 3rd on the stage.
 
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung have had a good week at the Giro del Trentino, showing its colours early in the breakaways of both road stages prior to today's. Today would be no different though as Jacques Janse van Rensburg again followed the right move and got into a 12 rider escape group. They forged out a 3'30" lead before the peloton organised a chase.
 
Janse van Rensburg and the rest of his breakaway companions would later be caught at the foot of the final 20km out of category climb, but his presence in the break allowed Meintjes to conserve energy for the final climb. As the catch was made, Songezo Jim (MTN-Qhubeka) put in a hard attack to ensure a fast pace would eliminate any weaker riders. This tactic set Meintjes up perfectly as with 10km to go, there were only 14 riders left at the head of the race.
 
With 5km to go Meintjes attacked the group of favourites with no other riders able to match his pace. Almost instantly, Meintjes had a 10" lead as he pressed on up the climb alone, leaving a number of grand tour contenders in his wake. With 1km to go, the eventual stage winner, Landa, would make contact with Meintjes but not before the young South African was able to open up a sizable gap to the rest of the race. Landa took the win but Meintjes was able to ride his way to a 5th place overall while also taking out the win in the young riders competition.
 
"I am extremely satisfied with my performance today but at the same time I am a bit disappointed as I was aiming for the win today," he said. "I am happy with the improvement in my performance since I did this race last year but the season is still young and I want to continue improving."
 
"It was an amazing effort by Louis and the team today," Directeur Sportif Kevin Campbell said. "Louis was fearless and he raced for the win. Yes, he may have been beaten into 2nd today but today he showed he has what it takes to beat some of the beat in the world."

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