Vuelta a Espana

Dimension Data announce roster to back Meintjes at Vuelta

Louis Meintjes will lead Dimension Data at the Vuelta a España, which gets underway this weekend in Málaga. After abandoning the Giro d’Italia this spring due to illness, Meintjes is hoping to bounce back in the race that saw him make his grand tour debut back in 2014. “It’s been…

Louis Meintjes will lead Dimension Data at the Vuelta a España, which gets underway this weekend in Málaga.

After abandoning the Giro d’Italia this spring due to illness, Meintjes is hoping to bounce back in the race that saw him make his grand tour debut back in 2014.

“It’s been a challenging year for the team and for me personally too, but we have worked hard to prepare well and build up nicely ahead of La Vuelta,” Meintjes said via a team press release.

“At Vuelta a Burgos I think we definitely showed that we were on the right track as the entire team was riding really well. With the same team as in Burgos, now heading to La Vuelta, we have some positive momentum going into the race.”

Meintjes counts three grand tour top 10s on his career palmares, with one at the 2015 Vuelta to go with two at the Tour de France. He returned this season to Dimension Data — the team that gave him his start on the WorldTour — after two years with the UAE Team Emirates organization, but he has not had the homecoming he’d hoped for thus far in 2018.

Meintjes will have climbers Igor Anton and Merhawi Kudus at his disposal in Spain. American Ben King and British former British time trial and road champ Steve Cummings will give the team firepower for the intermediate stages.

Sprinter Ryan Gibbons, Johann van Zyl, and Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier round out the Vuelta selection for Dimension Data.

“We have three very difficult weeks ahead of us but this is exactly what we have prepared for,” said sports director Alex Sans Vega. “The team is really motivated to be part of the action and there is the feeling that we definitely have unfinished business with the 2018 season.”