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UAE Tour (5): Louis Meintjes, 13th, shows himself on top of the Jebel Jais

UAE Tour (5): Louis Meintjes, 13th, shows himself on top of the Jebel Jais

With the Gulf of Oman in the background, the riders prepared themselves in the Harbour of Fujairah for the queen stage of the UAE Tour (2.WT, 21-27/02). Nine riders wanted to anticipate the final of this fifth stage with the ascent of the Jebel Jais (21km, 5.4%). The peloton didn't give them a big advantage, however, Lutsenko managed to stay ahead of the chasing peloton until the final kilometer of the climb. 

The Ineos Genadiers climbed at a strong tempo in the peloton, until several attacks disturbed the smooth rhythm during the final 5 kilometer. In the end, it was Jonas Vingegaard who managed to take advantage of the competition between the GC riders to escape under the red flag and solo to victory. Louis Meintjes attempted to follow the Danish rider and finished 13th. In this way, the South-African climbs to 20th position in the provisional general classification.

Considering the flat profiles of the final two stages, it looks like the battle for the general classification is over. However, the wind can definitely play a role on Friday and Saturday. The finish of the penultimate stage is after 165 kilometer on the famous Palm Jumeirah archipel in Dubai.

Louis Meintjes:
« The pace was very high on the climb, so I'm happy that I had good legs. It was difficult to make a difference. When Vingegaard went, I saw the favorites were in doubt. I decided to go behind him, but didn't manage to close the gap. I was caught with 500 meter to go and continued giving my all, hoping as less riders as possible would pass me. I think it was a good race for the team, we worked well together. It's nice to see how our good preparation turns out into an excellent start of the season. I want to keep this top 20 in the classification, but I'm expecting two more hard stages. »

Stage 5:
1.Jonas Vingegaard
2.Tadej Pogacar +0:03
3.Adam Yates
13.Louis Meintjes +0:08
39.Jan Hirt +1:26
49.Rein Taaramäe +3:39
68.Simone Petilli +9:01
83.Wesley Kreder +13:52
91.Kévin Van Melsen +18:36
92.Riccardo Minali 

Provisional general classification:
1.Tadej Pogacar
2.Adam Yates +0:45
3.Joao Almeida +1:12
20.Louis Meintjes +11:28
32.Jan Hirt +14:06
39.Rein Taaramäe +16:03
58.Simone Petilli +24:37
71.Wesley Kreder +35:05
100.Kévin Van Melsen +42:48
113.Riccardo Minali +45:19