cycling news / Good performances in Belgian UCI 1.1 races
LEOPARD PRO CYCLING REBOUND FROM TWO BELGIAN UCI 1.1 RACES WITH TOUGH COMPETITION. IN BOTH RACES – GP JEF SCHERENS AND GP STAD ZOTTEGEM – GERMAN ALEXANDER KRIEGER WAS THE TOP FINISHER: 8TH & 17TH
RACE REPORT: GP Jef Scherens & GP Stad Zottegem
Good performances mixed with bad luck
On Sunday, Leopard Pro Cycling took part in the GP Jef Scherens, where there was a very strong field. Quickly six guys gave it go and took a maximum lead of about five minutes. Then, Leopard’s Szymon Rekita went in the attack together with Team LottoNL-Jumbo’s Timo Roosen, trying to bridge the gap to the front. However, due to a deficit of riders the duo was not able to close the gap and join the leaders. In a reaction to this move, also Alexander Krieger joined some different important groups in a race that was really lively from start to finish. Despite all the moves, no one could avoid the bunch sprint finish and it were the Verandas Willems riders that guided their leader Timothy Dupont in a great fashion to the win. Alexander Krieger was still able to finish in eight position, altough the German came a bit too early in the wind.
At the GP Stad Zottegem, Leopard Pro Cycling was eager to show itself to the crowd as this race went in and around Zottegem, the home town of Leopard’s clothing partner Decca. The race started with a three men leading group that quickly increased their lead to 5’45”. Then, Verandas Willems and Fortuneo paced the peloton, making the race a tough one. This was the cause of many abandons, making the race a true elimination race. With about thirthy kilometers to the finish line, all came back together when the first group hit the cobbles of the famous Paddestraat. Here, Aksel Nõmmela punctured, leaving Alexander Krieger on his own in the bunch. When a dangerous group of sixteen went away, Krieger was part of it and it looked like these leaders were going to battle for the victory. However, what was left of the peloton closed the gap with 1500 meters to go. Krieger then tried to stay in front for the final sprint, managed to do so, but when he had to open up his sprint, no power was left in his legs. The 25-year-old found himself back in seventeenth position. The win went to Lotto Soudal’s fast guy Jasper De Buyst.
Markus Zingen, DS: “We can be happy with the results at the GP Jef Scherens and GP Stad Zottegem as a eighth and seventeenth position are really nice results, especially if you look at the competition. In Zottegem we had a bit of bad luck with a crash for Jan Brockhoff and punctures for Jan Dieteren and Aksel Nõmmela at important moments in the race. For Aksel, it was really bad because he also punctured at the GP Jef Scherens, which took him out of contention. It’s also a shame that we lost Jens in Leuven due to illness. We hope that he recovers quickly as he will be an important member of our team time trial roster for the upcoming Ronde van Midden-Nederland. Missing these guys in the final was the difference between a top result and the results we have now, because we could see that Alexander was maybe missing that one guy to help him out in the final meters. All in all, these results are satisfying and they give us motivation for the upcoming races.“