cycling news / Race preview: Paris-Chauny
With Paris-Chauny, Leopard Pro Cycling is again present in a difficult UCI 1.1 race. Having great results in the last weeks, the Luxembourgish UCI Continental Team can’t wait to show themselves again and prove their capabilities.
ROSTER: Jan Brockhoff, Konrad Gessner, Alexander Krieger, Gaëtan Pons, Jens Reynders, Mario Spengler & Luc Wirtgen – DS: Markus Zingen
By both finishing in the top five of the Polish National ITT Championships on Friday, Szymon Rekita (5th) and Filip Maciejuk (4th) have given the team even more motivation to give it’s all during Paris-Chauny. The race that has his 68th edition this year is for the first time classified as an UCI 1.1 race, which means that Leopard will face some strong competition with amongst others two World Tour (AG2R and FDJ) and seven Pro Continental teams. However, the past weeks have shown that Leopard should not be worried as the Luxembourgish outfit has been able to perfectly mix in with these teams.
The race starts in the outskirts of Compiègne, the city we all know for traditionally hosting the start of Paris-Roubaix. From Margny-lès-Compiègne, the race heads north east towards the Aisne department, where the riders will criss-cross from GPM to GPM of which no less than ten – for example the Côte de Fresnes-sous-Coucy and the Côte de Prémontré – are posted on the parcours. After 163 kilometers the race crosses the finish line in Chauny for the first time before heading into four ‘easier’ local laps that will decide over the race winner. For Leopard Pro Cycling, Gaëtan Pons has the most recent memories to the race.
Gaëtan Pons: “I did this race two years ago, but at that time it was a UCI 1.2 race. Now the race has leveled up to 1.1, which means that the race strategy will change a lot. With several World Tour and Pro Continental teams in the mix, the race will be more controlled. However, the many hills on the parcours can make the race hard and unpredictable. I think we have to race as we do all the time: ride aggresdsive, go in the attacks and make the race hard. If it all comes down to a sprint, we have Konrad Gessner who should be the fastest. Let’s hope for a good result to add to our good performances this year. We are almost every race really competitive and we ride with good team spirit and dedication. Therefore it is not surprising that we have the currently have the best position in the UCI Europe Tour since four years. For myself, I feel stronger than last year, but I am a bit disappointed about the first part of the season where I had a lot of bad luck. Take for example the crash in Tour de Normandie or the flat tires at Paris-Troyes and Zuidenveld Tour when I was in a good position. After a difficult period with allergies as well, I came back in the GP Marcel Kint where I was able to ride aggressive in the final. Also in the Tour de Luxembourg, I had a solid race with three good stages and helping out the team in two final ones. I have not been able to show myself at 100%, but now I want to take everything I can in the upcoming events, starting in Paris-Chauny.”
24.06 | Margny-lès-Compiègne – Chauny (198,7 km)