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Meintjes to lead Lampre-Merida at Criterium du Dauphine

Louis Meintjes will continue his build up for the 2016 Tour de France by leading the Lampre-Merida team at this week's Criterium du Dauphine. The South African recently completed a block of training at altitude alongside teammate Tsgabu Grmay.

Having transferred to the Italian team from MTN-Qhubeka at the end of 2015, Meintjes made his Lampre-Merida debut at the Tour Down Under finishing in 16th place. The 24-year-old then placed 22nd overall at Paris-Nice but has since failed to finish his last three stage races; Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco and Tour de Romandie.

Grmay made his grand tour debut at the Giro d'Italia last year and was then selected for the Vuelta a Espana. Should he be selected for the Tour de France, he would be the first Ethiopian to ride the French grand tour in 103 editions of the race.

Valerio Conti, Manuele Mori and Ilia Koshevoy head to the Dauphine off the back of the Giro d'iItalia while Mattia Cattaneo and Federico Zurlo make their return to racing from injury. Meanwhile, Slovenian national champion Luka Pibernik makes his first appearance for the team since April's Paris-Roubaix.

Despite having won a stage and finished third overall at the 2015 edition of the race, Rui Costa has opted to instead race the Tour de Suisse and add to his three previous overall wins.

Lampre-Merida for the 2016 Criterium du Dauphine: Mattia Cattaneo, Valerio Conti, Tsgabu Grmay, Ilia Koshevoy, Louis Meintjes, Manuele Mori, Luka Pibernik and Federico Zurlo.

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