JOHANNESBURG - It was a case of win some, lose some for South Africa’s Louis Meintjes in stage 13 of the Tour de France on Friday.
Friday featured a shorter stage than has been the the case for the last few days, ‘only’ 101km between Saint Girons and Foix, but a barrage of climbs more than made up for that.
Meintjes ended 12th overall, 1min 48sec behind stage winner Warren Barguil of Team Sunweb as the host nation celebrated a winner on the historic Bastille Day.
His efforts saw the UAE Team Emirates rider move up a place to ninth spot on the general classification, but the downside was that he lost a few seconds in the Best Young Rider category as Orica-Scott’s Simon Yates took nine seconds out of the 20 that Meintjes had managed the previous day.
Meintjes is now 4:51 behind the yellow jersey of Fabio Aru of Astana.
"The legs felt good. The stage was really fast. No one really knew what to do. I think it was very interesting and a lot of variety is good. It was good, a lot of mountains and I moved up to 9th, so happy with that," said Meintjes after the stage.
Next-best SA rider is Meintjes’s fellow Rio Olympian Daryl Impey in 76th, 1:33:26 back. Then come the Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka pair of Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (136th, +2:06:57) and Jaco Venter (171st, 2:29:20).
The Dimension Data African outfit are now 19th out of 22 teams in the team category,3:32:59 behind Team Sky.
Saturday’s stage is 181.5km between Biagnac and Rodez, with a flattish start before a series of rolling hills that will test tired legs.
The stage gathers altitude from 136 to 563m, there are a pair of category three climbs in the second half, followed by a nasty uncategorised climb in the final 15km to add a nice sting in the tail.
African News Agency