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Louis Meintjes wins solo and takes overall at Coppi e Bartali
March 29, 2015  

Supplied by Beatrice Hogan from ActiveWorx

Second GC victory for MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung of the year

Louis Meintjes took his first European win today after a brave solo that also earned him the overall victory at the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali. It's the second GC win for Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung of the season, after the success at the Tour de Langkawi.

Before the start of today's final stage the organizers decided to shorten the total length, but all climbs remained in the program of the day. With 141 kilometers to go from Pavullo to Roccapelago the team kept an eye on the action.

The race started of fast but no breaks were allowed to go clear. Only after 30 kilometers into the race Primoz Roglic (Adria Mobil) and Sam Spokes (Drapac) were able to open up a gap. They built up a maximum advantage of 3.30 minutes, when Bardiani-CSF decided to organize the chase. Their pacesetting helped reducing the number of riders in the bunch and when MTN-Qhubeka-p/b Samsung joined the action with around 40 kilometers to go it was down to approximately 15 riders to go for stage glory.

MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung's goal for the day was the stage win and Louis Meintjes timed his attack on the steepest climb of the day to perfection. By then Roglic had dropped his breakaway companion but was soon reeled in by Louis who himself had dropped Damiano Cunego (Nippo-Fantini) and Davide Rebellin (CCC-Sprandi) who had been the only riders that were able to match his acceleration.

With 22 kilometers to go the reigning African Champion went for his brave solo and was able to extend his gap. In the end he finished the stage more than one minute ahead of his nearest followers, Cunego and Rebellin. Overnight race leader Ben Swift (Sky) came in forth, meaning that Louis had managed to put enough time between the two of them to also take the overall.

Louis Meintjes - Riders
This win really means a lot to me. It's my first win in Europe and I have to thank the whole team who supported me at this race. They were always there and it makes me really proud. I hope this win also motivates people to help us and Qhubeka putting more kids on bikes in Africa.

Alex Sans Vega - Sports Director
The team did really well today. We were going for the stage win, but to also take the overall is brilliant. Our plan was to attack with 40 kilometers to go. And Louis was just phenomenal. He attacked on the steepest climb of the day and then just rode off. It was just a perfect day for us.

About MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung 
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung was founded in 2007, steadily working its way up from a regional team to now being a Continental Pro team with bases in South Africa and Italy. MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung’s goal is to give talented African riders a path into the pro peloton while raising funds for Qhubeka. In 2015, MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung are inviting you to help them mobilise 5,000 kids on bicycles. To contribute to the #BicyclesChangeLives Campaign, click here.

Qhubeka is an Nguni word that means “to carry on”, “to progress”“to move forward”. Qhubeka (qhubeka.org) is World Bicycle Relief's program in South Africa. World Bicycle Relief (worldbicyclerelief.org) is a global non-profit organization dedicated to advancing education, health and economic opportunities by providing simple, sustainable transportation. Since World Bicycle Relief’s founding in 2005, it has delivered more than 220,000 specially designed, locally assembled bicycles to people in need. To contribute to the #BicyclesChangeLives Campaign, click here.

MTN (mtn.co.za) is a long-time supporter of Qhubeka and the team. Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a leading emerging market operator, connecting 219.2 million subscribers in 22 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Learn more about the team at www.teammtnqhubeka.com.
Enjoy our fanzone at www.teammtnqhubeka.com/Fanzone.