cycling news / Krieger just misses out on top 10 at Tour de Bretagne
A thirteenth place in the GC, five top ten finishes and one top five position. It is the yield after seven days of hard racing in the tough breton weather conditions at the Tour de Bretagne. It has been a demanding race, from which the Leopard Pro Cycling team can take its positives.
It’s already seven days ago when the Tour de Bretagne began with a somewhat flat stage from Rennes to Merdrinac. A stage in which Alexander Krieger and especially Aksel Nõmmela showed their fast legs. The German finished the opening stage in tenth, the Estonian crossed the line in fourth position. This was a sign for some good things to come. In the next days, Gaëtan Pons took responsibility and represented the Leopard outfit in the breakaway groups, whilst Alexander Krieger managed to win the sprint of the pack in the second stage. Unfortunately, a front group of six riders already crossed the finish in Saint-Pol-De-Léon one minute before him.
As he was in a good position in the overall classification, the 25 year old decided to mix in with the attacks as one could notice that the peloton had a hard time controlling all the attacks. Unfortunately for Krieger, the cooperation in his breakaway group on the third day was not very good, causing that he was caught back with only 300 meters to go. For the rest of the Tour, Krieger and the Leopard Pro Cycling team did not come closer to a stage win than this time in Scaër. Altough Alexander was able to join various attacks in the second part of the Tour de Bretagne, there were always some guys that had a few percent more in their locker. It was good to see great dedication until the final meters from the whole team, resulting in a thirteenth position overall.
Alexander Krieger: “Beforehand we knew that the Tour de Bretagne is a nervous, hectic and unpredicatble race. Therefore we took it stage by stage. We started of well with the fourth place of Aksel, giving us motivation for the upcoming days. The second stage didn’t look that hard in the road book but it was a really hard and decisive one. Six guys went away in the final and the whole team tried to close the gap. In the end Aksel guided me through the last kilometers and helped me to win the sprint of the bunch. This day we showed good team work, which made me proud. Then, on the third day I was in the break of the day and I was confident that I could win the stage. But due to the bad collaboration in the break, I was caught with only 300 meters to go. I also tried to attack in the fifth stage, but I just missed the break by a few meters. As no team was able to make an impact in the bunch, the attackers stayed clear and again I won the sprint of the peloton. It was a confirmation that my shape is good and it helped me gain some self confidence. Stage six was one in bad weather conditions, but we tried to close the gap to the front group as a team. Especially Szymon impressed me with his big engine. In the end of the day, I finished second of the first chasing group, but I hoped to be able to pay the guys back for their hard work. Also in the last stage we went all out to improve my overall ranking, which in the end was a good thirteenth position. I once again proved that I am one of the most consistent riders of the peloton. My shape was really good and I was close to win a stage. I gained some self confidence and I am even more hungry for a win now. I want to thank the staff and riders for their good and hard work. It would not be possible to perform on such a high level without them.”
Tom Flammang, DS: “As expected, the Tour de Bretagne turned out to be a very hard race, also because of the weather during the last two stages. We started the race of well with a fourth place of Aksel Nõmmela, but thereafter, every stage where we thought it could come to a bunch sprint, some riders managed to stay away. It shows that the race was hard to control by teams of only six riders. It’s good to see that we were active all week long, in the end we just missed a few percent and a bit of luck to come home with something big. If we didn’t have the rain and cold in the last two stages, I am sure that we could finish in the top five of the GC with Alexander Krieger. Therefore I am satisfied with how the team tried to get the best possible result every single day.”