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Tour de France

Louis Meintjes 3 seconds from sixth place


The seventeenth stage of the Tour de France was ridden over a distance of 129 kilometer and ended in an intense battle in the Pyrenees this Wednesday. On the programme were a finish on top of Peyragudes, preceded by three other climbs; the Col d’Aspin, the Hourquette d’Ancizan and the Col de Val Louron. 

The relatively short distance complicated the composition of the breakaway. Georg Zimmermann managed to join the good attempt thanks to a serious effort on the Col d’Aspin, where the leading group increased the advantage to more than one minute.

The yellow jersey group climbed Hourquette d’Ancizan at a high rhythm, so only around fifteen riders among whom Louis Meintjes reached the top together. The leader of the Belgian team, the seventh in the general classification, then benefited from the support of Zimmermann on the Col du Val Louron. They reached the top in the second chasing group. 

The German rider sacrificed to guide his leader to the final climb. Louis Meintjes finishes ninth and conserved his seventh place in the provisional classification, only three seconds away from sixth position.

« The intensity stayed high all day long and I managed to accompany Louis Meintjes for a long time. My good feeling appeared during the first climb, where I found a good rhythm. In the final Louis could also rely on the support of a super strong Georg Zimmermann, who anticipated by joining the breakaway. There's only one mountain stage left in this Tour and Louis is now battling for sixth place with Romain Bardet and Aleksandr Vlasov. We'll try our best in the last Pyrenees stage tomorrow to enable him to start the time trial in a good position. We're convinced that he can achieve our team goals, namely a top ten in Paris. He's been gaining strength day by day. I realize now how precious his advice was during the first week. Louis recommended me to stay out of the nervous zone and in this way save energy for the decisive stages of this week. My crash has a serious impact on my personal performance, but I'm determined to do my utmost best until Paris to help Louis and the rest of the team! »

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