cycling news / Gaëtan Pons impresses at GP Cerami
Yesterday, the Leopard Pro Cycling team was active at the well-known GP Cerami (UCI 1.1). This Belgian race with a lot of tradition started in Saint-Ghislain to finish 199,6 kilometers down the road in Frameries. For Leopard and Gaëtan Pons it turned out to be a very good racing day.
Right after the start in Saint-Ghislain some attacks took place, but it was Leopard Pro Cycling’s Gaëtan Pons who joined the right one. The Luxembourger quickly left the peloton behind together with his fellow attackers Rémi Cavagna (Quick Step), Jimmy Raibaud (Armée de Terre) and Dylan Kowalski (Roubaix-Lille Métropole). They were in for a difficult day with amongst others obstacles the GPM’s on for example the well-known La Houppe, Muur van Geraardsbergen and Denderoordberg. Because of his efforts on these climbs, Pons collected sufficient points to win the mountains classification of the race.
The front group created a gap of about three minutes, but this gap was – against expectations – quickly brought back by Lotto-Soudal and Quick Step. The leaders were already caught after the climb of the famous Muur van Geraardsbergen, meaning that the race could start all over again. With about 120 kilometers to the finish line in Frameries, a new group went in the attack. With Benjamin Thomas (Armée de Terre), Dries Devenyns (Quick Step), Jempy Drucker (BMC) and Wout Van Aert (Vérandas Willems) this group was not to underestimate. This strong quartet quickly had a solid advantage of five minutes.
When the race hit the local laps, the lead of the front four was three minutes. With ten kilometers to go, this was still 1’30, meaning that the peloton was most probably coming to late. In the end, the four in front battled for the victory which went to Wout Van Aert, who recently beat our Alexander Krieger in the final sprint of the Elfstedenronde Brugge. This time, Krieger was part of the peloton in which he sprinted to a eighth position, meaning that the German finished the race in twelfth. Fellow German Jan Brockhoff also found himself in the top ranks of this difficult race as he crossed the line as twentieth.
Gaëtan Pons: “It was a very good day on the bike for me. After about 10 kilometers I attacked as I saw the Quick Step team neutralize the peloton because they had Rémi Cavanga in front. I thought we could go for a long one, however the peloton decided otherwise. Already after the ascent of the Muur van Geraardsbergen we were reeled in by the troops of Lotto-Soudal and Quick-Step. Luckily, I already gathered some mountain points, which meant that I went on to win the mountains classification. It’s very nice that people were talking about me again here in Wallonie, where I live. The start of the season has been quite tough, but now I feel like I am more than ready for the second part of the season after a good rest period and a training camp in Livigno. I am very confident and already looking forward to the upcoming Tour Alsace.”