Team MTN-Qhubeka fended off challenges from the peloton on stage 18 of La Vuelta a España to defend Louis Meintjes 10th position on the general classification.
Songezo Jim was part of the initial 25-rider breakaway, while MTN-Qhubeka controlled the chasing bunch.
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The only rider in the break who was a potential threat to Meintjes was Lotto-Soudal’s 14th-placed Bart de Clercq.
But when teams Astana and Katusha asserted themselves heading towards the final climb of the day, they nullified De Clercq’s attempt to leapfrog the South African on GC.
The peloton caught all but three riders on the slopes of the category one climb; with the stage win going the way of Nicolas Roche of Team Sky.
Meintjes was MTN-Qhubeka’s top finisher, coming in 17th on the day.