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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 June 2018

Meintjes and Costa lead the charge for UAE Team Emirates at Vuelta a Espana

Nine-rider line-up announced for the third and final Grand Tour race of the season.

Louis Meintjes enters the Vuelta a Espana following an eighth place finish at the Tour de France in July. Courtesy UAE Team Emirates
Louis Meintjes enters the Vuelta a Espana following an eighth place finish at the Tour de France in July. Courtesy UAE Team Emirates

Louis Meintjes and Rui Costa will lead UAE Team Emirates at the Vuelta a Espana after the nine-rider line-up was announced for the final Grand Tour race of the year.

Starting on Saturday, the Vuelta will conclude on September 10, comprising 21 stages over a total distance of 3,324 kilometres. The General Classification winner will take home the Maillot Rojo, or red jersey.

For former world champion and Abu Dhabi Tour winner Costa, this year will be his first racing in Vuelta.

“This will be my race debut and I am excited about taking part in it," Costa, 30, said. "I am looking forward to enjoying every single stage and the challenges that come with it. The season is nearing its end and I want to savour every minute.”

Completing the UAE Team Emirates line-up are Anass Aït El Abdia, Sacha Modolo and Federico Zurlo, Jan Polanc and Matej Mohoric, Darwin Atapuma and Przemyslaw Niemiec.

Meintjes, who this week announced he has signed with Team Dimension Data for the 2018 season, has been busy preparing for the rest as well as some much-needed recupiration after his eighth-place finish in the Tour de France in July.

“I’m currently undergoing altitude training in Andorra in preparation for the Vuelta," the South African said. "The training has been going really well following the Tour de France. I am gunning for a good GC result but it all depends on my performance, my body is still recovering.”

The race begins with a 13.8km team time trial in Nimes, France, making it just the third time since the Vuelta's inception that the race has begun outside of Spain.

STAGE BREAKDOWN:

  • Stage 1: Saturday, August 19: Nimes (France) (TTT) – 13.8km
  • Stage 2: Sunday, August 20: Nimes (France) to Gruissan (France) – 201km
  • Stage 3: Monday, August 21: Prades Conflent Canigo (France) to Andorra la Vella (Andorra) – 158.5km
  • Stage 4: Tuesday, August 22: Escaldes-Engordany (Andorra) to Tarragona (Spain) – 193km
  • Stage 5: Wednesday, August 23: Benicàssim to Alcossebre – 173.4km
  • Stage 6: Thursday, August 24: Villareal to Sagunt – 198km
  • Stage 7: Friday, August 25: Lliria to Cuenca – 205.2km
  • Stage 8: Saturday, August 26: Hellín to Xorret de Cati – 184km
  • Stage 9: Sunday, August 27: Orihuela to Cumbre del Sol – 176.3km
  • Rest Day: Monday, August 28
  • Stage 10: Tuesday, August 29: Caravaca Jubilar to Elpozo Alimentación – 171km
  • Stage 11: Wednesday, August 30: Lorca to Observatorio Astronómico de Calar Alto – 188km
  • Stage 12: Thursday, August 31: Motril to Antequera – 161.4km
  • Stage 13: Friday, September 1: Coín to Tomares – 197km
  • Stage 14: Saturday, September 2: Écija to Sierra de la Pandera – 185.5km
  • Stage 15: Sunday, September 3: Alcalá la Real to Sierra Nevada – 127km
  • Rest Day: Monday, September 4
  • Stage 16: Tuesday, September 5: Circuito de Navarra to Logroño (ITT) – 42km
  • Stage 17: Wednesday, September 6 : Villadiego to Los Machucos – 180km
  • Stage 18: Thursday, September 7 : Suances to Santo Toribio de Liébana – 168.5km
  • Stage 19: Friday, September 9 : Parque Natural de Redes to Gijón – 153km
  • Stage 20: Saturday, September 9: Corvera de Asturias to Alto de l’Angliru – 119.2km
  • Stage 21: Sunday, September 10: Arroyomolinos to Madrid – 101.9km