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"I liked the finish and the guys supported me all the way. I went a bit early and the climb was just a kilometer to long but that is racing and we will try again in the coming days."

Photo: A.S.O.

LOUIS MEINTJES

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23.08.2015 @ 20:40 Posted by Andy Pedersen

The 2nd stage of the La Vuelta a Espana saw Esteban Chaves (Orica-Greenedge) take the victory ahead of Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) and Nicolas Roche (Team Sky). Louis Meintjes was the highest placed rider for MTN-Qhubeka in 14th place on the day.

 

It was an interesting stage to Caminito Del Rey that saw the General Classification riders come out to play, not your usual scenario for the 2nd day of a grand tour. There was an early break of 6 riders but Katusha and Movistar were riding for their respective Spanish leaders and never let the escapees lead by much more than 3 minutes.

 

There was some drama with 30km to go when a massive crash took place in the peloton, just over half the peloton were caught up in the carnage. Thankfully, none of the MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung riders were hurt whilst 3 other riders from rival teams had to abandon. In a separate incident though, the Algerian fast man Youcef Reguigui did go down but the result was only a bit of road rash for him.

 

Heading toward the finishing climb the break was caught as expected and it would be a showdown between the climbers. While the climb to the line began with 5km to go, the steepest ramps came from 3km to go. It was here where the action started as Nairo Quintana (Movistar) attacked, followed by Meintjes, Dumoulin and Roche. Chaves would ride across to the lead group with 2km to go as Meintjes then started to lose contact with the 3 other leaders.

 

Going into the final km in 6th place, the young South African was caught by the rest of the favourites in the uphill dash to the line but would hang on to to finish in a good 14th place.

 

“It was a nice stage for me, it was really hot and a good way to start the Vuelta. I liked the finish and the guys supported me all the way. I went a bit early and the climb was just a kilometer to long but that is racing and we will try again in the coming days,” Louis Meintjes said. 

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