cycling news / From Köln, Leopard Pro Cycling heads to Austria
Last Sunday, Leopard Pro Cycling raced at Rund um Köln. In Germany the goal was to achieve at least a top ten finish. Unfortunately, this goals was not met as Alexander Krieger finished in eleventh place. Now, the team is preparing for the Oberösterreich Rundfahrt which starts tomorrow.
Selection: Carmelo Foti, Alexander Krieger, Aksel Nõmmela, Patrick Olesen, Fábio Silvestre & Laurent Vanden Bak – DS: Florian Salzinger
Leopard Pro Cycling wanted to be in the breakaway at Rund um Köln, but unfortunately the riders did not manage to get clear from the bunch. Six others did and they quickly had an advantage of over five minutes. As the race was approaching the finish line the last survivors of the break were caught. In the local laps, Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing Team) attacked, but due to the hard work of Team LottoNL-Jumbo and Lotto Soudal, the American was reeled in just in time. In the expected bunch sprint, Dylan Groenewegen took his fifth win of the season ahead of André Greipel and Nikias Arndt. For Leopard Pro Cycling, Alexander Krieger finished as eleventh,
Sports Director Florian Salzinger: “Unfortunately we only had five riders at the start and among these we had three riders who were not in the best shape because of previous injuries and illnesses. You can imagine that making a tactical plan was quite complicated. So we decided to go for a good result in the sprint for Alexander. The whole race was dominated by LottoNL-Jumbo and Lotto Soudal and it was very obvious that these teams wanted to bring the whole bunch to the finish line. In the final Alexander was a little bit isolated, but he still mangaged to finish in eleventh place. This came close to our goal that we set before the race, which was top ten.”
Altough an eleventh place is not that bad, the team is looking for improvement in the Oberösterreich Rundfahrt. The riders will have no time to waste as the first stage is a really short, but very difficult one. In the 12,6 kilometers long opening stage, the riders will have to face just one climb around the surroundings of the Linz University. In stage two, the first 110 kilometers are hard. After that, the peloton will cover a much easier local lap four times, after which a bunch sprint finish is to be expected. The two final stages in the weekend will decide over the general classification as some nasty climbs are on the menu.
Sports Director Florian Salzinger: “I hope that all our riders have recovered well from their injuries and illness and that we can show a stronger performance this time. Actually the general classification should not be the main focus and therefore I expect good results in the stages. The race should suit Patrick Olesen very well, but I think that Alexander Krieger will be strong once again. We can only succeed if we finally show a good team performance!”
16.06 | Stage 1 | Linz – Linz (12,6 km)
17.06 | Stage 2 | Wels – Altheim (155,9 km)
18.06 | Stage 3 | Stöcker – Ulrichsberg (142,1 km)
19.06 | Stage 4 | Traun – Windischgarsten (156,5 km)