Move frees up space for bigger-name GC riders to join UAE Team Emirates

Louis Meintjes will rejoin Dimension Data in 2018, agreeing a deal to return to the South African team after two years at Lampre-Merida/UAE Team Emirates.

The South African rider started his professional career at what was then MTN-Qhubeka in 2013, before moving to Lampre-Merida at the start of 2015.

However Meintjes, who finished eighth at the recent Tour de France, is now moving back to Dimension Data, as UAE Team Emirates looks to bring in more established GC riders, with possible moves for Fabio Aru and Dan Martin.

>>> Cycling transfers 2018: All the ins and outs from the WorldTour

“I am super excited to be coming back home to an African team,” Meintjes said. “My choice to come home was easy, as Team Dimension Data stands out from other professional teams.

“In the past two years I’ve gained tremendous experience from a European team, and I aim to use that experience to contribute to the success of Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka. African cycling has stepped up to a world class level over the last five years.”

Meintjes will join Dimension Data as their main GC rider, with sprinters such as Mark Cavendish and Edvald Boasson Hagen providing options for flatter stages.