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Giro di Sicilia

 Louis Meintjes ends on the podium

For the second consecutive year, Louis Meintjes climbed on the final podium of the Tour of Sicily thanks to a solid collective performance of Intermarché-Circus-Wanty in the queen stage on the heights of the island this Friday.

The fourth and last stage of 216 kilometer covered three climbs, among which Mount Etna in the beginning of the second race half.

It was in the downhill of this difficulty that Kobe Goossens attacked and joined the survivors of the early breakaway with 40 kilometer to go.

The Belgian rider stayed in the lead of the race until the approach of the top of Culmine di Scorciavacca, the final climb of the day, before Louis Meintjes attacked.

The South-African climber rode the final 21 kilometer solo, chasing Alexey Lutsenko, who won the stage and the overall classification. Meintjes finished second of the stage, Goossens fifth and Simone Petilli seventh. 

Meintjes, second in the final classification, achieved his second GC podium in two participations, one year after his third place. Intermarché-Circus-Wanty won the team classification with also Goossens (6th) and Petilli (8th) in the top ten overall.

« The programme that the team offered me in 2022 brought me a lot of success, that's why we chose to almost copy paste my race calendar for 2023. Participating in the Tour of Sicily seemed a logical choice, in the middle of a demanding World Tour race block with the Tour of Catalunya and the Tour de Romandie. We knew a mountain stage was included in this stage race, so I focused on this queen stage to make the difference on the final day. I rapidly noticed that Alexey Lutsenko was making a good impression. I think second place was the best possible result, taking into account the profile with the long downhill to the finish. »

« I was privileged to finish on the podium for a second consecutive year, but my teammates Kobe Goossens or Simone Petilli also could have achieved this result for the team. This were strong. We know our respective qualities, we communicate a lot and that's why we can show an excellent cohesion in the race. Our two cyclocross specialists did a great job in their first race for the team and with his victory, Niccolo Bonifazio put a cherry on the cake. We had a really good week with the six of us and the staff. »


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