cycling news / 2017 through the eyes of … Brockhoff & Leyder
THE 2017 SEASON IS OVER FOR LEOPARD PRO CYCLING. TIME TO REFLECT ON THIS YEAR’S CAMPAIGN, BEFORE WE CHANGE FOCUS TO THE UPCOMING YEAR. THE THIRD EPISODE OF THIS SERIES IS ABOUT JAN BROCKHOFF AND PIT LEYDER, TWO YOUNGSTERS THAT BOTH SHOWED THEIR CAPABILITIES THROUGHOUT THE PAST SEASON.
Solid results all season long for Brockhoff
It immediately became clear that Jan Brockhoff didn’t want to miss his start to the season. Already at the opening races in Rhodes, one could find the 22-year-old more than once in front. One of his biggest goals of the season was going to be the highly-rated Tour de Normandie, following his strong performances in the 2016 edition when he finished ninth overall, took third place in the prologue and wore the leaders jersey of the young riders classification. The goal for this year was again to finish in the top ten overall, but the results didn’t come his way, altough being very active in the opening stage. The shape was good, which you could see in the individual time trial on the final day of Le Triptyque des Monts et Chateaux where Jan rode the tenth best time amongst some of the best specialist in the U23 ranks.
At the GP Criquielion, Jan was part of the group that would battle for the victory, however the seventh position was a disappointment for him as he was not able to show his fast legs. Also at the very important Flèche du Sud, Jan found himself back in the top ranks, with an sixth position in the mass sprint finish on the final day. Then, the summer went really well for Jan who always finished in the first part of the results at tough races likes the Skoda Tour de Luxembourg, Rund um Köln, Elfstedenronde Bruges, National Championships Germany and GP Cerami. His very solid results were being awarded with even more noticable finishes: 8th at the Antwerpse Havenpijl, 17th at GP Jef Scherens, 7th at GP Nogent and 14th at GP Marcel Kint. Also at the local GP Erdinger, Jan showed his capabilities by finishing second in a photo finish.
Jan Brockhoff: “In 2017 I was able to ride on a good level all season long, with top ten results all over the year. However, this year I missed a top result like last year’s victory in Rund um Düren. I was close at the GP Erdinger, where I missed the win by only 1 centimeter. All in all it has been a solid season, but because I missed a top result – for example in the races where I really wanted to perform, the Tour de Normandie and the Tour de Bretagne – I have clear goals for 2018. It has been a long season with almost 10.000 kilometers of racing, but it’s good to see that my body has no problems with this and I hope to profit from this next year.
Two wins for mini-Olympic Champion Pit Leyder
In his first full season at Leopard Pro Cycling, Pit Leyder already showed some of his talent. In the early months of the year, Pit worked on his shape by being active in cyclocross. It made that he kicked things off in a very solid way at the GP de Lillers, a difficult race where he finished 12th in the bunch sprint. The tenth of the World Junior Road Race Championships in Richmond then went on to obtain a great result at the well-known U23 edition of the Tour of Flanders. Pit was part of the first chasing group and crossed the line in ninth position. The 20-year-old was able to continue his great form in the next races as he won the local race in Ittersdorf, Germany, and finished eighteenth at the demanding Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt U23.
At Flèche du Sud, one of the home races of Leopard Pro Cycling, Pit wore the leaders jersey of best Luxembourgish rider and another great result followed later in the month of May as Pit took the victory in the Men’s Road Race of the Games of the Small States of Europe after a sprint-a-deux, thus giving Pit the right to say that he is a mini-Olympic Champion. At the U23 European Championships in Denmark, the young Luxembourger took the 17th position, a good result as he was always in the first part of the bunch. In the fall, Pit’s results didn’t come his way, altough he gained some imporant experience at the highly-rated Tour de l’Avenir – the mini-Tour de France – and the U23 World Championships in Bergen, Norway.
Pit Leyder: “For sure the ninth place at the U23 Tour of Flanders was my best result this year. Hard races like this suit me very well and therefore I was happy to be able to finish in the first ten. I gained again some great experience this season, for example at the Games of the Small States of Europe. I received perfect help from Pol Weisgerber and my brother Misch, so it was really cool to take the win with nice teamwork. For 2018, however, I can still improve. My shape has not always been on a good level, so I need to be more consistent in this. In general, you could say that I had an okay season, even when I missed good results in the second part of the year, but I want to do better in 2018.