World under 23 championship runner-up Meintjes to remain with MTN Qhubeka until end of 2015
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Friday, October 18, 2013

World under 23 championship runner-up Meintjes to remain with MTN Qhubeka until end of 2015

by Shane Stokes at 12:21 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
South African one of best young talents in cycling

Louis MeintjesWeeks after he underlined his ability with a silver medal in the world under 23 championships in Florence, Italy, Louis Meintjes will remain part of the MTN Qhubeka team for at least two more seasons.

The 21 year old made his pro debut this year with the team and had a successful campaign, with Meintjes winning gold in the South African road race and time trial championships, netting silver in that worlds under 23 road race and taking fourth overall in the Tour de Taiwan, fourth on a stage and ninth overall in the Tour de Korea plus tenth overall in La Tropicale Amissa Bongo.

A South African on an African-centric team, he is at home with his current setup. “I feel really comfortable here after turning professional this year,” he stated. “The team is great in that we as the athletes get all the support we need and the team makes our job easy for us. What we’ve achieved as a team is due to great support from everyone from the staff to the riders.

“I really like the professional team environment. The management brought international riders on board for us younger riders to learn from and I feel it’s worked really well to gain experience. I look forward to this continuing into the future.”

Meintjes went close to winning the Under 23 race at the world road race championships, jumping clear of a chase group and closing down on lone leader Matej Mohoric of Slovenia. However he ran out of time before the line and had to make do with silver.

The performance underlined his class, though, and ensured that the team would seek to extend its current agreement with him.

“We’re a high performance race team and have created an environment where the athletes have access to the best coaching and equipment in the world,” stated the team principal Douglas Ryder. “We have set goals for each athlete throughout the season and although Louis is in his first year as a professional, we’ve given him a leadership role and it’s something he has relished.

“We’re an African team and believe in the talent from the continent. We’re very happy that the best athletes from the continent feel comfortable here.”

His new contract was also feted by MTN SA Chief Marketing Officer Brian Gouldie, who applauded his results this year. “He’s represented the brand well on the world stage and is proving that Africa can compete on an international level in the sporting arena when given the opportunity.”

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