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“The most important thing will be to wait and see how I am. But I feel confident and I think I can do well. For our team it is incredible. This is a great opportunity for us and a great opportunity to show what Africa can do in major...

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LOUIS MEINTJES

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03.05.2014 @ 10:57 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Louis Meintjes has emerged as one of the biggest African talents in the sport along with Merhawi Kudus and he is one of the star riders in team MTN-Qhubeka.

 

The 22 year old proved how good he was when he was second on a difficult Giro del Trentino stage that lifted him to fifth on GC and allowed him to win the best young rider jersey. Now he turns his attention to getting his first win in Europe and the Vuelta a Espana, MTN’s first Grand Tour.

 

It was his ride in Trentino that caught the eye, and he admitted himself that he didn’t expect to be so close to names such as Evans, Wiggins, Pelizotti and Aru.

 

“I honestly did not expect to be so close to them,” he told biciciclismo.com. “And indeed it is a result that has given me a lot of confidence for the future.”

 

His solo attack on the penultimate stage blew the race apart but Mikel Landa cruelly denied him victory.

 

“When I was three kilometres from the finish, yes, I started thinking I could win. So when Landa caught and passed me, I was very disappointed. But now, a few days later, that disappointment has already become motivation. I really want to fight to get my first win as a professional in Europe.”

 

He will now ride the Bayern-Rundfahrt and the Tour de Suisse and he has already been pre-selected to ride the Vuelta, his first Grand Tour, which he has high hopes for, “the most important thing will be to wait and see how I am. But I feel confident and I think I can do well. For our team it is incredible. This is a great opportunity for us and a great opportunity to show what Africa can do in major competitions on the global calendar.”

 

The South African champion hopes to use the Vuelta as a launch pad to the Tour de France.

 

“That's the dream for me and the team. Seeing an African team in the Tour would be something even more special.”

 

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