cycling news / Krieger excels at GP Monseré & Midden-Brabant Poort Omloop
Two races in one weekend. One typcial Belgian race, one difficult race in The Netherlands. The GP Jean-Pierre Monseré and the Midden-Brabant Poort Omloop turned out to be demanding races that seperated the men from the boys. In the end, Alexander Krieger and Leopard Pro Cycling can be happy with a respectively sixth and third position.
GP Jean-Pierre Monseré
On Saturday, Ypres hosted the sixth edition of the GP Jean-Pierre Monseré, a typical Belgian race named after the World Champion of 1970, who died at the age of 22 whilst taking part in a bike race. The GP Monseré – classified as an UCI 1.1 race – took the riders from Ypres to Roeselare over a total distance of 202,8 kilometers in which the peloton also had to cover the famous Kemmelberg. As one could expect, the race turned out to be a difficult one. Immediately after the start was given, the pace was very high which never changed, resulting in an average race speed of almost 46 kilometers per hour. All the riders had to pay close attention to the race situation that was changing all the time because of all the attacks.
In the final lap, twenty riders took the chance to seperate themselves from the main bunch. Amongst those twenty riders, Alexander Krieger represented the Leopard colours. The German already made his ambitions clear by – for example – reaching the top of the Kemmelberg in second place, just behind ex-Belgian national champion Preben Van Hecke. This comprehensive group managed to create a solid lead and it turned out that the winner of the GP Monseré was to be found amongst these leaders. Some attacks followed, but they were unsuccessful. With just four kilometers to go, Belgian cyclocross rider Laurens Sweeck tried his luck and no one saw him back until after the finish. Sprinting for second place resulted in a sixth finishing position for Krieger.
* Pictures by Fabienne Vanheste
Midden-Brabant Poort Omloop
In Gilze, The Netherlands, Leopard Pro Cycling took part in the Midden-Brabant Poort Omloop, which made its debut on the UCI calendar (1.2). This race had a lot in common with the GP Monseré one day earlier. Small roads, open fields and cobbles were the ingredients for a long day of racing. The high attendance in this cycling oriented region saw a very good Leopard Pro Cycling team. It took a while for a front group to form, but finally a group of eighteen went away with Aksel Nõmmela and Alexander Krieger for the Luxembourgish UCI Continental Team.
Because there were some strong names amongst the eighteen in front, Krieger gave it a go in the final local laps. He was quickly followed by some other riders, thus forming a new front group of seven who were going to compete for the victory. In the sprint in the streets of Gilze, local rider Jaap Kooijman surprised everyone by starting the sprint early and eventually even winning the race. Rory Townsend finished in second, Krieger in third, which was a good conclusion to a successful weekend.
Alexander Krieger: “Saturday was a really uncontrolled race, because there were no WorldTour teams at the start. Me and my teammates were present in several attacks, but everything came back together all the time. With about one and a half lap to go, a dangerous, big group went away and I managed to join them. As I jumped a lot in the middle of the race, my sprint was not that good anymore, but in the end I am happy to finish in sixth position. Yesterday it was even more uncontrolled, as you can expect from a race in Holland. I was quite lucky as I was the last rider to join the big group and I am really thankful for Aksel, because of his efforts that kept the group going until the finish. The group was too big to come to the finish, so I decided to attack. I closed the gap to the Lotto rider that was in front and I decided to go solo from there with about 500 meters to go. I went full, but in the end two guys passed me 10 meters before the finish, which was unlucky, but a podium is still better than a fourth place.”
* Pictures by M.Jaarsma