news / 2017 through the eyes of … Rekita & Krieger
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 SECOND EPISODE OF THIS SERIES IS ABOUT SZYMON REKITA AND ALEXANDER KRIEGER. BOTH GUYS SHOWED THEMSELVES IN FRONT MANY TIMES DURING THE 2017 CAMPAIGN.
Victory in first year as a Continental rider
For Szymon the season couldn’t have started better. In his second race of the year – the International Tour of Rhodes (UCI 2.2) – the Pole finished off a magnificent solo effort and grabbed a stage win, eight seconds in front of the approaching bunch. Thanks to this victory, Rekita finished the race in a very good fourth position overall. Then, the build up for a strong summer began. First, there was a 21st overall position at the end of the Tour de Luxembourg (UCI 2.HC). In the biggest race of Leopard Pro Cycling’s season, Rekita was present in front all race long, thus leading to this very solid result. After this five-day race, Szymon finished the Polish National Time Trial Championships in a solid sixth place, albeit on quite a distance to title winner Michal Kwiatkowski. At the rather difficult Tour Alsace (UCI 2.2), the 23-year-old showed his potential as a future GC rider with an agressive style of racing and an eleventh position in the overall standings as an end result. To conclude his season, Rekita took the 13th place at the Tour of South-Bohemia (UCI 2.2) and was also able to finish the Belgian race GP Marcel Kint (UCI 1.2) in dreadful conditions as 16th.
Szymon Rekita: “This season has been very hard for me, because it was my first year in a Continental Team and I often had bad luck with for example crashes. I am happy that I was able to take my first UCI victory already in the beginning of the year at the Tour of Rhodes. I am also happy with my Tour de Luxembourg, I think this is the race that I am most proud of this year as I was able to fight with World Tour and Pro Continental riders for good results. In the end I can only take all possible lessons with me to next season and I hope to do even better. Alexander is a very good rider, I am happy to know him. He is very strong and gives the team a lot of confidence with his experience.”
Krieger again consistent all season long
25-year-old Alexander Krieger took some top class results in 2017. He already started off well with two top ten finishes at the highly rated Triptyque des Monts et Châteaux (UCI 2.2) and after a seventh position in stage three of Circuit des Ardennes (UCI 2.2) and an eighth place at the action packed Arno Wallaard Memorial (UCI 1.2), Alexander excelled at the Tour de Bretagne (UCI 2.2). In France, Alex finished five times in the top ten and also never went below the thirteenth position in the stage results. Also at the demanding Tour de Luxembourg (UCI 2.HC), the German was always well in the top half of the results with the fifth position in stage two and the near win in the prologue as absolute highlights. In the next period, Alexander came close to a well deserved win with some very good results: 4th at the Elfstedenronde Bruges (UCI 1.1), 6th at the GP Jean-Pierre Monseré (UCI 1.1), 3rd at the Midden Brabant-Poort Omloop (UCI 1.2), 4th at the GP Pérenchies (UCI 1.2) and 3rd at stage two of the Tour Alsace (UCI 2.2). His great shape was acknowledged by the German National Federation, who invited the Leopard rider for the Elite European Road Championships in Denmark where Alexander helped Bora-Hansgrohe’s Pascal Ackermann to a fourth position. Unfortunately, after Krieger crossed the line of the GP Jef Scherens (UCI 1.1) in eighth position, he had to end his season early due to problems with his health.
Alexander Krieger: “2017 was a good season with ups and downs. I had a lot of fun riding my bike and I was able to create races, also on a higher level. I feel very comfortable in the .1 and .HC races and it feels good to be able to take part in the finals of these races. This year I have shown that I can come back fast and strong after bad moments and this makes me proud. Also the fact that I was able to race on a really high level consistently starting from the end of April makes me really happy. However, there are always things that could have gone better. I am sure that I would have been able to win the Tour de Luxembourg prologue if I didn’t have a mecanical problem in a really bad moment. I also am a bit disappointed that I had to end my season already at the end of August because of problems with my tonsils. Unfortunately, I was not able to win a UCI race this year as I was close a lot of times, but I am sure that I will take one next season. Also Szymon had a great season. He showed that he has a huge engine and he really is a team player and a good guy! Next year he will be even stronger as he already gained a lot of experience. He is a guy to watch.”