cycling news / Leopard Greece bound for races at Rhodes

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After a difficult season opener at Le Samyn, the Leopard Pro Cycling team travelled to Greece to race at the isle of Rhodes. Here, the team will participate in two races which are the International Rhodes Grand Prix (5th of March) and the International Tour of Rhodes (10th-12th of March).

Roster: Jan Brockhoff, Carmelo Foti, Alexander Krieger, Aksel Nõmmela, Szymon Rekita & Tom Wirtgen – DS: Markus Zingen

International Rhodes Grand Prix
On Sunday, the fifth of March, the International Rhodes Grand Prix takes place, which is a race that covers almost the entire coast line of the island. In this 195 kilometers long race, the peloton will have to face 1845 altimeters. The start will be given in the capital Rhodes-City after which the riders head south along the coast. After about thirty kilometers, the first noticeable climb needs to be conquered, before the peloton continues its way to the feedzone after ninety kilometers. The feedzone marks the turning point of the race, as it heads back north to Rhodes-City. However, shortly after the riders took some nutrition, the most difficult obstacle of the day already awaits them with a long but steady climb. After this effort there are still about 45 kilometers left in which a lot can happen. With the riders present, Leopard can play a role in different scenarios.

International Tour of Rhodes
The first stage of the Tour of Rhodes is ‘only’ 156 kilometres long and includes two intermediate and two mountain sprints. The course is a bit more difficult than the one at the Rhodes Grand Prix, as this time 1773 altimeters are on the menu. Again, the start is in Rhodes-City before the race takes a big loop counter clockwise, guiding the peloton over the first KOM after only 51 kilometres. Only thirthy kilometres later, the second – and easier – KOM lays on the route, before the race heads back with a rather flat approach to the finish.

Stage two is probably the queen stage of this race as some difficult and steep climbs are on the menu. In total, the riders will have to conquer 2468 altimeters in this stage, in which one can expect a fast pace right after the start as a very steep KOM awaits after already 25 kilometres. In the remainder of this stage, there will be a lot of ups and downs before the peloton heads into the final thirty flat kilometres. On Sunday, the outcome of the race will then be decided in a 175 kilometres long stage which also has quite a lot of altimeters. Also on the final day, the most difficult part lays in the middle of the stage, before arriving in the last thirthy flat kilometres. The winner of this race will turn out to be a very good allrounder, which means that also Leopard can play a very big role.

Markus Zingen: “We are really looking forward to racing on the isle of Rhodes, where we expect better weather than last week in Le Samyn. This makes for fun racing as our goal is to have a good build up and work on our base for the first part of the season. Of course, we also desire to be competitive and have already some good results, which is important to go into the season with good self-confidence.