UAE Team Emirates' Louis Meintjes finishes eighth overall in Tour de France

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Showing out: Louis Meintjes finished in the top 10 of the Tour's GC.

It was a proud day for UAE Team Emirates as their rider Louis Meintjes finished eighth overall, ahead of two-time winner Alberto Contador, and second in the youth classification as the Tour de France drew to a close.

UAE Team Emirates’ Tour debut had a number of memorable moments including Diego Ulissi’s and Darwin Atapuma’s podium finishes in stage 15 and 18 respectively.

There were other fine efforts as well, including Laengen’s performance during stage six where he won the most aggressive rider accolade and Atapuma winning the same award following his performance in stage 18.

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 eighth 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.”

Briton Chris Froome secured his fourth Tour de France title at the end of the 21st and final stage which was won by Dylan Groenewegen in Paris yesterday. Contador, meanwhile, finished behind Meintjes in ninth.

Sky’s Froome sits fifth overall in the all-time list of Tour victors behind greats Eddy Merckx, Jacques Anquetil, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain.

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UAE Team Emirates rider Ben Swift frustrated with missed opportunity on Stage 19 of Tour de France

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Ben Swift bemoaned the mistiming of taking a drink, as a day-long breakaway proved fruitless on Stage 19 of the Tour de France.

The UAE Team Emirates sprinter was part of the 20-man break that formed early on in the mammoth 222.5km stage. He felt confident of a high-placing, but missed a split late on when Lotto-Soudal’s Thomas De Gendt attacked over an incline.

The Briton was left frustrated and annoyed. “I was feeling really good today, but that was a demonstration of how to mess up a race,” he said.

“I was having a quick drink and the next thing I knew there was a split with the strongest guys in the front. De Gendt did a little acceleration over the top, some others accelerated and it was hard to do anything. Once they were in the draft of the motorbikes, there is no way you can bring them back.

“It’s the Tour de France and you don’t get these opportunities a lot. It was a long day in the saddle but one little mistake and that was it, it was gone.”

Swift, 29, has finished in the top-10 of two stages, but illness in the second week set him back. He harboured hopes of an assault on the green jersey classification, but with two stages to go sits in 19th place.

“The way Michael Matthews has gone about getting that green jersey has been impressive,” he added.

“It was something I wanted to do going into the race. But it has unravelled. I had the crash and had to change my cleats. I was then sick in the second week. I’m happy to be going well in the final week. I need a fourth week.”

STAGE 19 RESULTS

Rider Name (Country) Team Result

1 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data 5:06:09
2 Nikias Arndt (Ger) ORICA – Scott 0:00:05
3 Jens Keukeleire (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:17
12 Ben Swift (GBr) UAE Team Emirates 0:01:37

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION RESULTS AFTER STAGE 19

Rider Name (Country) Team Result

1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 83:26:55
2 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Monidale 0:00:23
3 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team 0:00:29
8 Louis Meintjes (SA) UAE Team Emirates 0:06:52

YOUTH RESULTS AFTER STAGE 19

Rider Name (Country) Team Result

1 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica – Scott 83:31:41
2 Louis Meintjes (SA) UAE Team Emirates 0:02:06
3 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bura-hansgroe 0:26:15

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UAE Team Emirates' Darwin Atapuma pipped into second on Tour de France's stage 18

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Brave ride: From Atapuma.

UAE Team Emirates’ Darwin Atapuma produced one of the most inspiring rides of the Tour de France to date, as the Colombian finished second on stage 18, earning the red bib for his efforts as the most aggressive rider.

With less than 2km to go on Thursday’s Hors Category (HC) finish in Col d’Izoard, it looked as though Atapuma was going to win the race. But the UAE Team Emirates rider succumbed to late pressure from eventual winner, Warren Barguil (Team Sunweb).

There was also a top-10 finish for UAE Team Emirates’ General Classification contender, Louis Meintjes, who finished seventh, 37 seconds behind Barguil. Chris Froome (Team Sky) held on to the Yellow Jersey, with Meintjes still sitting second in the hunt for the White Jersey behind Simon Yates (ORICA-Scott).

“Today we prepared the stage very well and I think we did a great job. It is a shame we did not take the win, but to get second place, it really means a lot to me. It is almost like a victory,” said Atapuma.

Commenting on his the team’s performance, Meintjes said: “It was a really good day for the team with five in the breakaway and we got second place which is good.”

Friday’s stage 19 heads out of the mountains and towards the Provence region. At 222.5km, this stage is Le Tour’s longest passing from Embrun to Salon-en-Provence. This stage may not cause much of a change within the General Classification standings, as the riders prepare themselves for the following day’s time trial.

Stage 18 results

# Rider Name (Country) Team Result

1 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Sunweb 3:38:15

2 Darwin Atapuma (Col) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:20

3 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale “

7 Louis Meintjes (SA) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:37

General Classification results after stage 18

# Rider Name (Country) Team Result

1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky  78:08:19

2 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Monidale 0:00:23

3 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team 0:00:29

8 Louis Meintjes (SA) UAE Team Emirates 0:06:52

Youth results after stage 18

# Rider Name (Country) Team Result

1 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica – Scott 68:20:38

2 Louis Meintjes (SA) UAE Team Emirates  0:02:06

3 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bura-hansgroe 0:26:15

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