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Louis Meintjes extends for two seasons: “The team helped me to return to my best level”

Louis Meintjes, the first rider of Team Intermarché-Circus-Wanty to finish in the top ten of the Tour de France, extended his contract with the structure of Jean-François Bourlart by two additional seasons, until the end of 2025.

The South-African climber joined the Walloon team in 2021 and returned to his best level, finishing fourteenth in the Tour de France in his first season, then seventh in the edition of 2022 before ending the Tour of Spain in eleventh place two months later. 

In the jersey of Intermarché-Circus-Wanty, Louis Meintjes has shown masterclass in effort management against the best climbers in the world and distinguished himself with an aggressive racing style, enabling himself to return to the top step of the podium after a six year drought. 

In June 2022, he won the Giro dell’Appennino after a solo of 7 kilometer, before conquering his first World Tour victory with a breakaway in the ninth stage of La Vuelta, triumphing on top of Les Praeres.

At the age of 31, Louis Meintjes became a fixed value of team Intermarché-Circus-Wanty as a leader for the stage races. In addition to his results in the Grand Tours he regularly played a major role in races such as the Critérium du Dauphiné (6th in 2022, 7th in 2023) or on the podium in the Giro di Sicilia (3rd in 2022, 2nd in 2023).

"Since my arrival in the team, Intermarché-Circus-Wanty has shown its total confidence in me in several ways, which enabled me to return to my best level. First, it is probably the only team in which I am offered the possibility to respect a race calendar perfectly adapted to my characteristics and goals each season. In our planning with the team we have found a calendar that works for me, with a perfect balance between training blocks, periods to build race rhythm and peak periods. It is also unique that I receive the total confidence and support of the team to go for a personal result in each peak period, which I'm grateful for. The equipment can't be much better, however, the team continuously pursues its quest for improvements. But the most important factor in my eyes is the unconditional support in difficult moments. The team has treated my setbacks with empathy and this makes a true difference. It was disappointing to not be able to defend my chances in the Tour de France and La Vuelta, but I know that I had the capabilities to play one of the major roles and to equal my results of the previous seasons. This thought makes me happy, it motivates me to come back stronger."

"Louis Meintjes is and stays our leader for the Grand Tours. Since his arrival, we built a relationship of mutual confidence. This is what enabled him to get back to his best self. He achieved a very high level, thanks to his attitude and professional approach. Additionally, he shows the way to the youngest riders of our team, who improve themselves following his example. We're convinced that we can continue benefiting from his qualities for several years. Our ambition with Louis for this season was to improve his remarkable seventh place of the Tour 2022. He was on the right track to achieve this goal until a collarbone fracture postponed our plans to next year. We are already planning for next season, Louis is ambitious and has the perfect attitude to bounce back."

"Louis Meintjes and Intermarché-Circus-Wanty, that's a successful marriage. Louis profiled himself as an essential part of our team for the Grand Tours and the World Tour stage races. Even more, he stepped out of his comfort zone to adopt an aggressive race style and return to winning ways, both in one day races and Grand Tours. I'm pleased that the confidence we put in him is rewarded by an extension of our adventure together for two more seasons. Our way of working lifted him to a higher level and we'll do what we can to continue this momentum because we still have great ambition together."

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