UAE Team Emirates rider Rui Costa fourth in thrilling Vuelta a España stage 19 sprint finish

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Rui Costa displayed his pace in a thrilling finish.

A dramatic last few hundred meters on stage 19 of the Vuelta a España saw UAE Team Emirates’ Portuguese rider Rui Costa cross the finishing line in fourth place in a restricted sprint.

Rui Costa and his teammate Mohoric, himself already a stage winner at this year’s race, produced an attacking display of undeniable class as they formed part of the long breakaway for the day consisting of 26 riders.

The stage victory eventually went to Thomas De Gendt (Belgium) of Lotto Soudal, whilst Chris Froome (Team Sky) retained the Red Jersey. UAE Team Emirates’ South African General Classification (GC) specialist, Louis Meintjes, maintained his 14th position in the overall standings.

Commenting on his top five finish, former World Champion Rui Costa said: “Today I was aware that it was important to be in the breakaway and I was waiting for that bit of luck that I have missed on previous stages.

“I succeeded in being amongst the attackers, however I am sad that I didn’t win, especially since my legs felt great and the victory seemed achievable. I was really focused in the last part of the stage and very strong on the final climb – I gave my best until the end, but ultimately I missed the victory which is obviously disappointing.”

A short 117.5km course sees riders tackle two category one climbs, and one HC category climb, during Stage 20 on Saturday. Climbers will be keen to see the mountains and form a breakaway, whilst sprinters will be wary of the brutal 22% incline on some of Friday’s climbs.

This stage has a reputation for producing the overall Vuelta winner, so attacking rides from GC contenders should be expected.

Stage 19 results

1. Thomas De Gendt (Belgium) Lotto Soudal– 3:35:46
2. Jarlinson Pantano (Colombia) Trek – Segafredo – “”
3. Iván García Cortina (Spain) Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team – “”
4. Rui Costa (Portugal) UAE Team Emirates – “”

GC Standings

1. Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky – 75:51:51
2. Vincenzo Nibali (Italy) Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team – 01:37
3. Wilco Kelderman (Netherlands) Team Sunweb – 02:17
14. Louis Meintjes (SA) UAE Team Emirates – 13:32

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UAE Team Emirates rider Matej Mohoric placed in top 15 following stage 18 breakaway

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Incisive: Mohoric.

Stage 18 witnessed UAE Team Emirates’ Slovenian rider Matej Mohoric form part of the main breakaway for the day ultimately earning him 14th place.

The stage victory went to Sander Armée (Germany) Lotto Soudal with Chris Froome (Team Sky) still in the Red Jersey and UAE Team Emirates’ Louis Meintjes maintaining his 14th position in the General Classification (GC) standings.

Commenting on his breakaway efforts during the stage, Slovenian rider Mohoric said: “We knew that today the breakaway could go to the finish, so our task was to get into the breakaway. I managed to do so, although it was very hard as it consisted of all the strong riders.

“During the day I tried to save as much energy as possible and I gave my best in the penultimate climb where the breakaway split. Then we tried our best to bridge the gap with the leaders in the last kilometers but unfortunately towards the last climb my legs were running on empty.”

Stage 19 begins in Caso (Parque de Redes) and runs 149.7km concluding in Gijón. The route is best suited for attackers and includes four climbs, with the final one 16.6km from the finish line.

Stage 18 results

1. Sander Armée (Germany) Lotto Soudal– 4:09:39
2. Alexey Lutsenko (Kazakhstan) Astana Pro Team – 0:31
3. Giovanni Visconti (Italy) Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team – 0:46
14. Matej Mohoric (Slovenia) UAE Team Emirates – 02:49

GC Standings

1. Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky – 72:03:50
2. Vincenzo Nibali (Italy) Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team – 01:37
3. Wilco Kelderman (Netherlands) Team Sunweb – 02:17
14. Louis Meintjes (SA) UAE Team Emirates – 13:32

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UAE Team Emirates’ Louis Meintjes retains top 15 berth after Vuelta a España stage 17

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Louis Meintjes

UAE Team Emirates’ Louis Meintjes finished 19th in a gruelling stage 17 of the Vuelta a España, maintaining his 14th position in the General Classification (GC) standings.

The stage victory went to Stefan Denifl (Aqua Blue Sport) whilst Chris Froome (Team Sky) remains in the leader’s Red Jersey.

Commenting on the stage, South African Meintjes said: “It was a hard day, weather conditions weren’t great, there was a lot of wind at the start, and there was a really fast finale. My legs feel good and I’m really looking forward to the last few stages.”

At 169km, stage 18 starts in Suances and ends in Santo Toribio de Liébana. The route includes three back to back climbs including the Collada de Carmona, Collada de Ozalba and Collada de la Hoz. The last 2.5km of the route includes a short climb to the Santo Toribio de Liébana Monastery.

STAGE 17 RESULTS

1. Stefan Denifl (Austria) Aqua Blue Sport – 4:48:52
2. Alberto Contador (Spain) Trek – Segafredo – 0:28
3. Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana Pro Team – 01:04
19. Louis Meintjes (SA) UAE Team Emirates – 02:05

GC STANDINGS

1. Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky – 67:44:03
2. Vincenzo Nibali (Italy) Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team – 01:16
3. Wilco Kelderman (Netherlands) Team Sunweb – 02:13
14. Louis Meintjes (SA) UAE Team Emirates – 13:03

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