INTERMARCHÉ
WANTY GOBERT

Tour de France

Louis Meintjes 7th in GC after a new breakaway


The climber of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux made a new approach in the general classification of the Tour de France this Saturday, thanks to a great breakaway in the fourteenth stage between Saint-Etienne and Mende.

Louis Meintjes, second at Alpe d’Huez two days ago, again joined the successful breakaway after a battle of more than one hour in the beginning of the stage. The South-African rider was part of an eighteen men group, in which he was the best placed rider in the general classification.

This leading group continuously increased the gap during the stage. From eight minutes halfway though the stage to fourteen minutes at the foot of the penultimate climb Côte de la Fage, where the riders in the breakaway started to attack each other.

After answering several accelerations, Meintjes managed his effort on the particularly steep climb leading to the finish, the Côte de La Croix Neuve. He finally finished tenth in Mende, twelve minutes before the yellow jersey.

His performance enables him to win six places in the general classification, provisionally occupying seventh place. In the polkadot classification Meintjes is still second with 39 points, seven behind leader Geschke.

« The beginning of the stage was particularly intense because of the big battle for the early breakaway. I tried maybe twenty times, but it was clear that several teams didn't appreciate my presence in the front unless they were there too. In the end, I managed to escape but after all these efforts I felt that I didn't have the legs anymore to fight for the stage win. To win as much time as possible on the peloton it was important for me that the group stayed as big as possible and that the cohesion stayed as good as possible. During the last part of the stage there were many attacks and luckily for me, there was always a team missing in the front so always some riders eager to help me keeping the group together. I'm happy with my second day on the attack here in the Tour de France. It was a good opportunity for a payback for all guys making my life hard in the flat stages and I managed to take back time on my competitors in the general classification. »

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