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Tour de France

Louis Meintjes joins the best climbers on La Super Planche des Belles Filles

This Friday, the contenders for the general classification battled against each other on the Super Planche des Belles Filles, the first mountain top finish of this 109th edition of the Tour de France. Three years after taking the third place on this difficult climb thanks to a breakaway with Xandro Meurisse, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux defended the ambition of Louis Meintjes, GC leader of the Belgian World Team.

And the South-African climber showed that he was ready for this final and particularly steep climb of 7 kilometer, with gradients over 24 percent in the final 1000 meter. After following the best climbers, he took sixteenth place on the line, 51 seconds behind the winner Pogacar. After seven days of racing in this Tour, he is currently 27th in the general classification.

« At the end of this seventh stage, we finished the first of three weeks in this Tour. On paper, there were several pitfalls for me, for example the risks of crosswinds in Denmark and the cobble stage towards Arenberg. Of course I dreamed of conquering these obstacles with a limited time loss, but in general, I cannot complain. I arrived at the mountains without harm and my feeling is excellent. In addition, I can rely on a very strong team to protect me and to bring me to the front. It is fantastic to see how hard our sprinters work for me. Today, Adrien Petit gave everything to stay with me as long as possible, at the foot of the final climb he was still there to protect Kobe Goossens and myself! » « Kobe and I are both in good shape. We had the same preparation for this Tour de France and I can rely on his support since the start of the event. It’s a pity that he crashed yesterday, but luckily he’s still with us. I hope that he will recover soon, because he has the capabilities to let our colors shine, for example in a breakaway. » « Today, I knew more or less what to expect as I already climbed La Planche des Belles Filles twice in the Tour de France. I managed to follow the best climbers, so it was disappointing when my derailleur went into crash mode in the final hectometers, probably because of a gravel stone. I will remember the positive takeaways, my legs were feeling really good. If I can continue like this, it is very promising. »


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