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"I felt really comfortable all day and the legs were really good on the last climb. I am really happy with my 9th place and I'm looking forward to tomorrow as i think the longer climb will actually suit me better," Meintjes says

Photo: Sirotti






24.04.2014 @ 20:21 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Last year Louis Meintjes won the silver medal at the U23 World Championships and now he proves that he can also mix it it up with the pros. Today he finished 9th in the tough mountain stage of the Giro del Trentino and is hopeful that he will do even better in tomorrow's queen stage.


Stage 3 of the Giro del Trentino would prove to be an exciting affair with Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung at the thick of the action. Cadel Evans (BMC) would take out the stage win ahead of Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale) and Mikel Landa (Astana) but it was Louis Meintjes and Sergio Pardilla who would impress from Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung.


Pardilla was very attentive right from kilometer zero as he tried to get into the breakaway. Being sure to follow and counter all moves in the opening kilometers Pardilla managed to eventually go clear with 11 other riders after 35km. Pardilla would prove to be one of the strongest riders in the break, driving them to a lead just under 5 minutes while also picking up a 2nd at the sprint prime.


As the chase hotted up and the peloton started to reduce the lead, Pardilla and 6 other riders left 5 riders behind on the cat 1 Passo del Durone. With 18km to go, the gap had been reduced to just 52″ by the BMC and Astana lead peloton. At this point the break began to attack each other but little cooperation would not help their cause. All escapees would eventually be reeled in at the foot of the final 2.5km climb.


The explosion of pace that then occurred up the final climb would make for a classy selection of climbers to form at the front of the race, South African champion Louis Meintjes would be one of the riders among these big names. Evans would eventually take out the victory but Meintjes held on to finish 9th, just 25″ behind the Australian Tour de France winner.


"It was a very hard day right from the start as on paper it was the best day for a break away to stay away," he said. "This meant so many riders were trying to get into the break. When Sergio made it into the break, all I had to do was sit in and save myself for the last climb and tomorrow.


"I felt really comfortable all day and the legs were really good on the last climb. I am really happy with my 9th place and I'm looking forward to tomorrow as i think the longer climb will actually suit me better."


"We knew that the start would be fast, with so many riders at 2 minutes or more the chance of a good break going was high," Directeur Sportif Kevin Campbell said. "Sergio rode fantastically well to make the break and this allowed Louis and Jacques [van Rensburg] a relatively relaxed ride to the final climb.


"Jacques supported Louis well and Louis was able to contest right to the finish. The team morale is high and with another hard day tomorrow we hope to contest the stage and move Louis into the top 10 on GC."



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