cycling news / 2017 through the eyes of … Quarterman & Reynders
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 FOURTH EPISODE OF THIS SERIES IS ABOUT CHARLIE QUARTERMAN AND JENS REYNDERS WHO BOTH HAD THEIR FIRST YEAR AS AN U23 RIDER.
Early season ending due to broken collarbone and wrist for Quarterman
Coming from the UK based Zappi Racing Team, Charlie Quarterman made his debut in the U23 ranks with races like the GP de Lillers, Paris-Troyes, Handzame Classic and Circuit des Ardennes. Having to go to school alongside training made things in the first part of the year not easy for the 19-year-old. In June, Charlie took part in two races in his home country, the Beaumont Trophy and the National Championships. Both races turned out to be far from easy. At the Beaumont Trophy, Charlie finished 49th out of just 72 finishers. At the British National Championships, Charlie performed really well but was not able to make the time limit, only twelve riders did. Moving to Luxembourg, things started to pick up again, but when Charlie felt the good form coming, he went head-first into the ditch at the Antwerpse Havenpijl. A broken collarbone and wrist forced the Brit to end his season way earlier than planned.
Charlie Quarterman: “2017 was a disappointing year for me. I started the season in a good fashion and I felt stronger than I expected. However, I struggled with going to school alongside training and racing, so things were tough for me until June. After I moved to Luxembourg, things started to pick up well for me, I had good performances at the Pro Kermesse races and I was able to help the team more and more in bigger races. Unfortunately I crashed just before I was able to properly pay back the team with results. I know what I have to do for 2018, but I have yet to prove anything. The motivation is really strong. Coming also for his first year as an U23 rider, Jens had an impressive season. It has been nice to have him alongside me in the races and going through the same experiences. He is good fun to have in the team and I think he can look forward to a successful season coming up!”
Impressive season for U23 debutant Reynders
Jens Reynders immediately showed himself at the start of the season by being in the breakaway at Paris-Troyes. At the highly-rated Triptyque des Monts et Châteaux, Jens finished as fifth in the youth classification and was called up for the Limburg selection for the U23 Tour of Flanders one week later. Although the Belgian didn’t finish the race, he took the much needed experience with him towards the next races such as Arno Wallaard Memorial, Flèche Ardennaise and Paris-Arras Tour. In the end of May, Jens took the fifth position in the closing stage of the Flèche du Sud, one of the most important races for the Leopard Pro Cycling team. This results still makes Jens proud and gave him confidence for the Elfstedenronde Bruges and GP Monseré, two difficult Belgian 1.1 races.
In late June, begin August, Jens had his perhaps best weeks. Not only finished the 19-year-old as eighth at the GP Tim Wellens, amongst lots of pro riders, he also crossed the line in seventh at the Antwerpse Havenpijl. Unfortunately, this great spell of form came abrubtly to and end, since Jens suffered from the Epstein-Barr Virus, also known as Infectious Mononucleosis or Pfeiffer’s disease. A real setback for the youngster who was coming into very good form and had lots of self-confidence thanks to his strong performances at the recent races. As of today, Jens still has not been able to start his preparations for 2018 in a proper fashion.
Jens Reynders: “All in all I can be happy with my first year as an U23 rider. Of course my goal for 2018 is to have a better season than this one, but it will not be easy. Especially since I am already fourteen weeks out due to the Epstein-Barr Virus. I hope to be riding my bike again soon, so that I can have a successful 2018. Last season I was most proud of my eighth place at the GP Tim Wellens and also my fifth position in the last stage of Flèche du Sud. I had been working hard for the team all week and it was good to see that I still had this in my locker. Too bad that the season had to end early both for me as for Charlie. He also had a solid season and I hope that he can recover quick and focus on his preparation for next year’s campaign.”