cycling news / Leopard Pro Cycling ends Flèche du Sud on a high

In the final stage of Flèche du Sud, Fábio Silvestre managed to sprint to a fifth place. With this result the Portuguese sprinter ends Leopard Pro Cycling’s Flèche du Sud campaign which had ups and downs. A look back on the last two stages in Luxembourg.

After stage three had been cancelled because of a huge crash, stage four was the new queen stage of the race. Right after the start the speed was really high and many attacks took place. However, nobody managed to get an advantage until the first hard mountain of the day where the peloton split into multiple peaces. For Leopard, Tom Wirtgen and Jan Brockhoff were part of the main bunch that was about 20 riders strong with still 90 kilometers to go. Not much later, the two strongest guys in this group took off and no one saw them back. In the last 10 kilometers Tom and Jan were completely empty and lost a lot of time on winner Sérgio Sousa (Vorarlberg). As they were still third and fourth in the young rider classification, one can image the hardness of this stage.

Results Stage 4:
34. Jan Brockhoff (GER) + 5’32”
36. Tom Wirtgen (LUX) + 7’17”
55. Patrick Olesen (DEN) + 10’45”
79. Pit Schlechter (LUX) + 20’05”
80. Fábio Silvestre (POR) + 20’05”
DNS. Aksel Nõmmela (EST)

In the final stage the team wanted to be very offensive and hopefully join some attacking groups. Tom Wirtgen responded great to this task as he was the first attacker of the day. Three other riders joined him, but the quartet was not allowed to stay away. After that another group of four formed and they managed to get a maximum lead of 1’40 which was brought back very easily. At the difficult turnaround at 400 meters to go, Fábio was a bit too far back, which made a potential victory impossible. The Portuguese was coming to the finish line with the highest speed: fifth. The stage win was for the winner of the opening stage Coen Vermeltfoort (Join’S-De Rijke).

Results Stage 5:
5. Fábio Silvestre (POR)
28. Jan Brockhoff (GER)
47. Tom Wirtgen (LUX)
60. Pit Schlechter (LUX)
70. Patrick Olesen (DEN)

DS Tom Flammang: “We started and ended the race well with a third and fifth place for Fábio. If you combine this with the big fighting spirit that our riders showed – especially in stage four – I think we need to be positive about this race. Beforehand we knew that a win would be very, very difficult. All in all, it was an eventful week. Luckily the big crash in the third stage was not as bad as it looked like at first. It seems that everybody will be back on the bike soon!”

General Classification Flèche du Sud
31. Jan Brockhoff (GER) + 5’32”
34. Tom Wirtgen (LUX) + 7’17”
59. Patrick Olesen (DEN) + 13’54”
70. Pit Schlechter (LUX) + 20’05”
76. Fábio Silvestre (POR) + 21’00”