Meintjes' stage struggle hurts chances of TdF top 5 finish

Meintjes stunning performance at this year’s tour has been exceptional but he will not reflect too well on Mandela Day the race’s 16th stage.

Louis Meintjes competing in the Tour de France. Picture: @AbuDhabiSC /Twitter

PARIS – South Africa’s hopes of a top five finish at the Tour de France on Tuesday took a blow as Louis Meintjes of the United Arab Emirates team struggled in stage 16, won by Michael Matthews.

Meintjes lost time against the other leading riders in the general classification, as his team were not able to assist him adequately in tough conditions on the stage.

He’s still in eighth but is now six minutes behind Chris Froome. It was also a tough day for Team Dimension Data.

Meintjes' stunning performance at this year’s tour has been exceptional but he will not reflect too well on Mandela Day, the race’s 16th stage.

The 25-year-old struggled in big crosswinds on a stage that was won by Matthews of Ssubweb who just edged Edvald Boasson Hagen as Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka missed out yet again.

“It’s really close. It’s sad when it doesn’t work out, the team is really good.”

On Wednesday, the race heads for the Alps with major climbs up Col De La Croix De Fer and Col Du Galibier that could prove decisive in who rides up the Champ’s Elysee in yellow.