The second Grand Tour of the season, Tour de France, concluded on 23 July 2017 with the South African Louis Meintjes, UAE Team Emirates rider in eight place in the overall General Classification (GC), 8min 20sec behind Sky’s Chris Froome, who won his fourth Tour de France title.
Meintjes ended 2min06sec behind Orica-Scott’s Simon Yates in the fight for the Young Riders Classification – the White Jersey. Afterwards Yates had high praise for his South African rival.
Commenting on the end of Le Tour, South African rider Meintjes said: “I think it was a good Tour, we came here with the goal of a solid performance in the GC and we tried our best. I don’t think eight place is a bad result, however you always want to improve. It was a good few weeks with lots of great memories. Now we will have a week of rest in order to recover and refocus for the remainder of the season.”
“And thats @LeTour done…Taking a lot of good memories home…And thanks again for all the support from back home,” Meintjes Tweeted after Tour de France.
Louis Meintjes announced himself to the cycling world in September 2013, when he earned the silver medal in the World Under 23 Road Race Championships. Louis had an impressive 2014 season where he rode his first Grand Tour, the Vuelta a España. His best result at the Spanish race was fifth place on stage 14.
He went on to finish sixteenth overall and fifth in the White Jersey Classification at the 2016 Tour Down Under.
Louis made South African cycling history in 2016 when he became the highest South African finisher in GC in eighth place and second highest finisher in the Young Rider’s Classification at the Tour de France. Meintjes’ next race was the Men’s Road Race at the Olympic Games where he finished seventh.
Other highlights this year include sixth place in the 2017 Vuelta Al País Vasco and eight overall GC in the Critérium du Dauphiné.