cycling news / Leopard Pro Cycling on the eve of Tour de Normandie
As of Monday, the 20th of March, the Leopard Pro Cycling team will be racing at the Tour de Normandie, one of the most prestigious races on the race calendar. After seven – probably tough – race days, the team hopes to head back home with similar results as the team obtained in previous editions.
Roster: Jan Brockhoff, Alexander Krieger, John Mandrysch, Aksel Nõmmela, Gaëtan Pons & Tom Wirtgen – DS: Tom Flammang
The Tour de Normandie and Leopard Pro Cycling is a good combination. Since the establishment of the team there was always one rider positioned in the top ten of the final overall ranking. This honor goes to Aleksandr Pliuschin (3rd in 2012), Fábio Silvestre (4th in 2013), Alex Kirsch (9th in 2014) and Jan Brockhoff (9th in 2016). This year, Jan Brockhoff is also part of the team that is present in Normandie and the German is already looking forward to this race that was one of his highlights of 2016.
Jan Brockhoff: “Last year I had really good legs all week long. Therefore, I am looking forward to the race and I am aiming to play an important role again. It would be very nice to end the race amongst the first ten again, but also top results in the stages themselves are important. Not only for me, but also for the team as the Tour de Normandie is one of the biggest races of the season for Leopard Pro Cycling. In the preparation at the Tour of Rhodes and Le Samyn we had a lot of rain, so I think it’s safe to say that we will have an advantage if the weather is not that good because of our recent experiences. Also, I would like to say a big thank you to our clothing partners Showers Pass and Decca. They provide us with clothing that really make a big difference in these conditions!
Unlike previous years, the Tour de Normandie will not start with a prologue. In this years edition, the first day of the tour will be marked by a 143 kilometers long stage with a difficult finish in Gonfreville. The last kilometer of this opening stage goes slighty uphill, which means that there will possibly be some time differences. The second stage heads from Neufchâtel-en-Bray to Forges-les-Eaux, where Leopard managed to get themselves a stage win back in 2013 with Portuguese sprinter Fábio Silvestre. Also this year, a sprint is to be expected in which the team has a few cards to play. In the third stage there are quite a few altimeters in the second part of the race, which can cause a problem for the fast guys. After the riders reached the top of the short climb to La Vallee, only ten kilometers are left. This looks like the place where you can make a move if you have ambitions for the general classification.
In the fourth stage, the riders head towards the southwest as they start in Le Neubourg and finish 163 kilometers later in Argentan. This stage has all the ingredients for a bunch sprint finish, which is not the case for stage five on Friday. Deep in the final of the fifth stage, a short but difficult enough climb needs to be conquered twice which will for sure hurt the legs of the fastest guys in the pack. If you want to have a chance in the overall classification, then you need to be in the front here. The race heads into the weekend with a 166 kilometers long stage to Ducey-lès-Chéris. In this stage, the road goes up and down all day long and this can also be said of the final day when the peloton rides from Sourdeval to Caen, where a big battle for the overall ranking is to be expected.
Stages Tour de Normandie 2017