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Meintjes at Paris-Nice: I need to get back in the rhythm of racing in Europe

Louis Meintjes (Lampre-Merida)

Louis Meintjes (Lampre-Merida) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/

The weather has been a big shock to the system after coming from South Africa where I've been training in excess of 35 degrees Celsius. Other than that, I am not feeling too bad. I haven't had the results I've wanted but I am actually not feeling as bad as the results might look. I was a little disappointed in my prologue because I know where I made the mistakes. I wasn't very good in the corners and needed to put more time in the recon. Those are things I'll be working on in the next time trial.

I also have to get used to the European bunch again after a few months away from racing here. It has reminded me how you have to make good decisions while navigating through the peloton because you can be 20% stronger than anyone else in the bunch and still end up last, it's all about how you ride the race. I need to get back in the rhythm of racing in Europe.

Yesterday was crazy. There was snow so the temperate was really cold. I didn't mind the dirt section as much as it wasn't too dangerous. The weather was more of a factor to me. I missed the split yesterday on one of the dirt sections when a guy in front of me opened the gap and lost the wheel. With the speed that the guys in the front go in the final, it's almost impossible to bridge back to them. For me, the wind isn't ideal. I'm fighting for my life when I lose the wheel in crosswinds because of my size. I'm so small that sometimes I'll do a personal best power output and still not manage to get back to the front. When you're wearing a rain jacket like yesterday it's worse too because you're not very aero. When you get dropped in the wind, you just hope everyone will work in your group because it's easy to not make the time cut when guys don't want to work in the dropped groups.

We still have Rui Costa in a good position close to all the other GC guys. He looks pretty comfortable and confident in the bunch so we'll be looking to help him over the next few days. I'll see if I get an opportunity from the team to go up the road on one of the hilly stages. I'm feeling good so I hope to be useful to the team over the next few days. 

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Louis Meintjes is a climber from South Africa who joined the Lampre-Merida team for the 2016 and 2017 seasons. He spent the last three season with MTN-Qhubeka where he developed into one of the top up-and-coming riders in the world, riding into a top 10 overall at the Vuelta a España in 2015.