Meintjes adds South African road race title to worlds under 23 silver medal
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Monday, February 10, 2014

Meintjes adds South African road race title to worlds under 23 silver medal

by VeloNation Press at 6:10 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, National Championships
MTN Qhubeka rider triumphs as mechanical sees Impey loses chance in two man sprint

Louis MeintjesAfter finishing second in the world under 23 championship last September, Louis Meintjes provided further proof of his ability when he won the South African Elite road race championships yesterday. Still young enough to compete for the under 23 title – which he also took in the race – Meintjes reached the line with Daryl Impey (Orica GreenEdge) after the duo rode away from the rest of the field.

Impey is a known fast finisher and looked set to win, but had problems with his chain in the sprint and lost all momentum.

While Impey was convinced he would have triumphed, Meintjes’ performance alongside him shows the 21 year old’s ability. He hopes to make further progress this year with his MTN Qhubeka team.

That squad was well represented in the finale of yesterday’s race, with Meintjes, Janse Van Rensburg and Jay Thomson all clear as part of a nine man group inside the final twenty kilometres.

With six kilometres to go, the break was reduced to Impey, Meintjes and Thomson, then the first two of those pushed ahead just before the sprint.

“Jay and I had a discussion and he said with the way he was feeling, it would be better for me to have a go at the finish,” said Meintjes. “So the plan was for him to attack early and make Daryl have to chase. I would just sit and cover the move and then on the last little climb I will try make the acceleration.”

The team principal Douglas Ryder said that while he was delighted that his rider won, he would also have accepted if Impey triumphed “He is a great campaigner for South African cycling and would also do the jersey absolutely proud,” he said graciously.

“We are incredibly excited to have the national jersey going back into the European season. Louis was second at the world championships last year and to become elite national champion at his age, still being an u23 is fantastic,” he said.

“He will do the jersey proud. He is going to ride a lot of stage races this year, so he will be very visible in the European peloton. It’s just fantastic that he will be wearing the national jersey.”

Impey said after the race that he and his team were looking into the regulations about the awarding of the elite jersey to an under 23 rider. However it has been confirmed today that the rules do indeed provide for Meintjes to take both titles.


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