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Zwift Tour for All: Meintjes wins on Alpe du Zwift

LANGKAWI, MALAYSIA - FEBRUARY 15: Louis Meintjes of South Africa and Team NTT Pro Cycling / during the 25th Le Tour de Langkawi 2020, Malaysian International Classic Race a 159km stage from Kuah to Kuah - Langkawi / #PETRONASLTdL2020 / on February 15, 2020 in Langkawi, Malaysia. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
Louis Meintjes (NTT) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Louis Meintjes won the final men's race of the Tour for All on the Zwift virtual platform, leading the NTT Pro Cycling team to overall victory in the points-based general classification.

Meintjes has not won on the road for five years after a series of injuries and problems but used his strength to weight ratio to make a difference on the 12.2km L'Alpe du Zwift climb.

He joined Freddy Ovett (Israel Start-Up Nation) and Louis Vervaeke (Alpecin-Fenix) in an early attack with 10km left to climb, showing his intentions. The effort blew apart the peloton and lead to Adam Yates going off the back, the altitude of Andorra making it difficult for him to be competitive. Rigoberto Uran (EF Pro Cycling) also suffered at altitude in Colombia but tried to hang on before cracking.

Piccoli got across to the trio up front and then soon pushed alone in search of a second Tour for All victory. He was joined by Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton-Scott) with three kilometres to go but the big-name chase group was never far behind the talented young Australian in what was an intense race. Hamilton used a power-up to open a gap but was eventually pulled back by Meintjes and the others as the flame rouge neared. Meintjes then attacked, putting out 7.5 W/kg and using his Breakaway Burrito power-up to open a gap and go clear.

Hamilton got back up to him but then Meintjes kicked again, to win by less than a second.

Stefan de Bod gave NTT Pro Cycling a second spot on the podium and further points, securing their overall victory. NTT Pro Cycling scored a total of 397 points, with Mitchelton-Scott a distant second with 241 points and Alpecin-Fenix third with 239 points.

NTT Pro Cycling clearly targeted the overall classification and used internal communications with coaches and directeur sportif to execute their race strategy.

"It's hard to look behind you on Zwift but I knew Stefan might have a better sprint, so I thought I'd go early and he could sit in the back and come from behind and finish it off," Meintjes said, revealing his plan and emotion s to be back racing after several weeks in lockdown.  

"It's been frustrating but the team has been keeping us competitive and I've enjoyed this racing. I was prepping like for a normal race, going all nervous before the start and going through my normal race route. It's something to keep you busy and make you feel like a professional bike racer."

Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Louis Meintjes (RSA) NTT Pro Cycling 2:23:40
2Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:01
3Stefan De Bod (RSA) NTT Pro Cycling 0:00:10
4Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Pro Cycling 0:00:18
5Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis 0:00:19
6James Piccoli (Can) Israel Start-Up Nation
7Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:28
8Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:29
9Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain McLaren
10Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling 0:00:37
11Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
12Matteo Badilatti (Swi) Israel Start-Up Nation
13Ben O'Connor (Aus) NTT Pro Cycling
14Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) CCC Team
15Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
16Jan Tratnik (Slo) Bahrain McLaren
17William Barta (USA) CCC Team
18Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation
19Kyle Murphy (USA) Rally Cycling
20Jimmy Janssens (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
21Jesper Hansen (Den) Cofidis
22Attila Valter (Hun) CCC Team
23Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix

Final standings
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1NTT Pro Cycling 397
2Mitchelton-Scott 241
3Alpecin-Fenix 239
4Israel Start-Up Nation 196
5EF Pro Cycling 186
6Groupama - FDJ 182
7Bahrain McLaren 100
8Rally Cycling 95
9Cofidis 94
10CCC Team 88

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