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Top 10 finish for Meintjies in individual TT at world champs

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Rising star Louis Meintjies again did South Africa proud on Monday with an excellent eighth spot at the UCI Road World Championships in Spain, writes Mark Etheridge.
Meintjies, who impressed for his Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung outfit during the recent La Vuelta a Espana, raced the Under-23 men’s individual time trial (TT) on Monday.
That after junior women riders Michelle Benson and Monique Gerber had finished well down the field earlier in the day.
Meintjies was sixth of 66 riders out on to the 36.15-kilometre circuit in Ponferrada.
And after just over 44 minutes of all-out effort Meintjies’ time was 48.36sec outside the fastest ride of the day.
That went to Australian Campbell Flakemore who clocked 43:49.94 to give the Aussies their second gold medal of the day after Macey Stewart had won the junior women’s TT earlier.
At one stage, Meintjies held top spot in terms of time before Portugal’s Rafael Reis dislodged him.
The 22-year-old product of Rustenberg (North-West) told Road to Rio 2016 on Tuesday: ‘Ja, I’m happy with eighth spot but also really happy with how my legs were feeling before the road race on Friday.’
As expected the course wasn’t really suited for Meintjies’ abilities: ‘The course was flat and not really suited to me but I was lucky to ride the first half without rain.’
Meintjies’ real chance of success will come in Friday’s road race to be contested over a 182km course.
‘I’m going to go and have a look at the course today but on paper it looks like it can be a good course for me.’
In last year’s Under-23 road race at the World Championships in Florence, Italy it was Meintjies who took the silver medal behind Slovenia’s Matej Mohoric.
South Africa will be holding thumbs that he can go one better on this occasion.
Tuesday sees the junior men’s individual TT (29.5km) and the elite women’s individual time trial (29.5km).


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