Cape Town - Louis Meintjes is flying the South African flag high at this year's Tour de France as he makes massive strides in standings.
Meintjes, 25, is in his third Tour de France. He impressed last year with an eighth overall finish riding for Lampre-Merida.
After 12 stages, Meintjes lies 10th on the overall standings, 4:51 behind leader Fabio Aru, while he is second behind Simon Yates (2:38) in the young rider category (white jersey).
The South African powered his way for fifth spot in Thursday's stage 12 of the Tour and made up a valuable 20 seconds in the Young Riders category.
Meintjes was just seven seconds off the pace as the host nation's Romain Bardet conquered the mountainous 214.5-kilometre stage between Pau and Peryagudes.
Other South Africans include Daryl Impey in 76th spot (1:19:33 back), followed by the Dimension Data duo of Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (137th, +1:49:21) and Jaco Venter (171st, +2:11:44).
Meintjes went on to social media to thank everyone on their support and express his determination for the white jersey.
"Really happy with my performance yesterday. Everything happened really quickly in the end. It was all about positioning and not wasting energy. It will be hard to get more time back on the white jersey but I'm not giving up," he said on Facebook.
"5th on the stage today and 10th in GC (General Classification). Thanks for all the support from back home," wrote on Twitter.
Friday's 13th stage is a short and sharp ride of 101km between Saint-Girons to Foix.