cycling news / 2017 through the eyes of … Foti & Pons
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 FIRST EPISODE OF THIS SERIES IS ABOUT CARMELO FOTI AND GAËTAN PONS, NOT ONLY TEAMMATES, BUT ALSO VERY GOOD FRIENDS OFF THE BIKE.
Always there for the team
Carmelo Foti couldn’t have hoped for a better start to his 2017 season. One could sense that the Italian had a very solid winter as he showed himself in the opening races in Greece. In his first race – the International Rhodes Grand Prix – Carmelo finished in fifth and he also was present in front at the following International Tour of Rhodes. The 23-year-old had some physical problems in the middle of the season, but was always able to give his all for the team. It made Carmelo – who joined Leopard Pro Cycling halfway 2016 – a highly rated team member.
Carmelo Foti: “My biggest success this year was my fifth place in Greece in my first race of the season. This result made me proud, but I am always proud when I am able to do my job in the best way possible. For me, 2017 was important to gain – again – a lot more experience. I did a lot of work for the team this year and I am sure that this will pay off for the future. Besides that, I am happy to have Gaëtan in the team. He is like a brother to me and I am also proud for his season. I am glad that I am able to ride my bike with him, he is a goof friend on and off the bike.”
“For next season, my focus is on not putting to much pressure on my own shoulders.”
For Gaëtan Pons, 2017 was his debut season in the Leopard Pro Cycling colours. The Luxembourger joined from the Wallonie-Bruxelles side and quickly found his place in the team. In the black and blue kit, Gaëtan didn’t start his season as planned. Struggling with his mindset caused him to pull out of races, before finding back the good form at Paris-Arras. By taking a bonus second in the first stage and a fourth place on the second day, Ponsi was sixth overall and in contention for a very good end result. Unfortunately, this good result became unreachable because of a crash at 7 kilometers from the finish of the last stage. Finishing on the podium of the GP Cerami – after winning the GPM classification – only boosted his motivation for the second part of the season in which he was almost always able to fight himself just under the top ranks of the race results. These results will only make for a better Gaëtan in 2018. The 25-year-old himself can’t wait!
Gaëtan Pons: “Although my season didn’t start off in the best way possible, I am happy that I was able to have good results in Paris Arras. If you see the weather conditions during this race, It showed what I am capable of. Another great moment for me was at one of my home races, the GP Cerami, where I took the win in the GPM classification. Also my day in the breakaway at the Skoda Tour de Luxembourg was amazing as it was my first race in Luxembourg as a rider with a Luxembourgish nationality. For next season, my focus is on not putting to much pressure on my own shoulders. This caused that I failed a lot of races this year. I had good results in the second part of the year and this makes me really motivated for 2018. It’s very nice to race together with Carmelo. He always gives 100% for the team, he is a great teammate with a good mentality, amazing team spirit and a good behaviour on and off the bike.”