cycling news / Leopard Pro Cycling passes test ahead of Flèche du Sud


Leyder shows potential in demanding Flèche Ardennaise

Leopard Pro Cycling came with a great feeling to the Flèche Ardennaise after recent well-deserved results across the racing calendar. The Belgian race in the surroundings of Liège marked the comeback of Alexander Krieger, who returned after seat problems in the previous weeks. Already in the early stages of the race, a strong front group went away with amongst others Joshua Huppertz and Cees Bol. When the race hit the first climb of the day – the Côte de Xhierfomont – the leaders already had a bonus of three minutes to the pack. This lead grew further to about 3’40 before the peloton paced their way back and quickly took half of the advantage.

When the race passed the half way mark, only Cees Bol was left in front and he was joined by Jimmy Janssens who was able to bridge from the chasers. The duo worked well together and managed to – again – build a lead that went over one minute. In the final local lap, it became clear that the chasers would not see the leading two rides back in time. Sjoerd Bax – recently beaten by Leopard’s Filip Maciejuk at the Carpathian Couriers Race – came close in a counter attack, but fell short to winner Cees Bol and runner-up Jimmy Janssens. For Leopard Pro Cycling, Pit Leyder showed his love for difficult finishes by placing himself as sixth in the results and being the third finisher in the peloton.

6. Pit Leyder (LUX) + 0’05”
26. Szymon Rekita (POL) + 0’05”
59. Alexander Krieger (GER) + 4’17”
DNF. Jan Brockhoff (GER)
DNF. Gaëtan Pons (LUX)
DNF. Luc Wirtgen (LUX)

ROSER Flèche du Sud: Alexander Krieger, Pit Leyder, Szymon Rekita, Jens Reynders, Mario Spengler & Luc Wirtgen – DS: Markus Zingen

Flèche du Sud starts traditionally with a stage in the evening. After ten laps on a local circuit of 7,8 kilometers, the first stage winner of the 69th edition of the race will be decided. The finish in Berbourg is far from easy with the finish line on the Chemin Vicinal ‘Berbourger Wee’, a 1 kilometer long stretch with an average slope of 4,3%. The day after, the peloton will start the second stage in Rumelange to come back to the same town after 151,1 kilometers, five KOM sprints and four bonification sprints. As the finish follows a difficult ascent of the Langegrund climb – 2,3 kilometers at 4,3% -, only the strongest riders will be able to have a go for the victory here.

For the third stage, the races heads up North and this means that maybe the hardest stage of the race is on the menu. Starting and finishing in Wincrange, the peloton will have to face some  tough and long climbs. All riders that have ambitions in the general classification have marked this stage in the road books. The weekend brings relatively easier stages in and around Roeser and Esch-sur-Alzette, but with an overall ranking to be fought for, all can happen and GC contenders will have to pay very close attention to all the action coming up. Leopard Pro Cycling is looking forward to have a go in one of the most important races of the season, with some riders in great shape, like for example Pit Leyder.

Pit Leyder: “At Flèche Ardennaise, I felt good and on the climbs I could feel that the legs were not bad. In the end you can feel the big amount of altitude meters, but I still had the power to do a proper sprint. I am happy that I could finish with the first guys, but I did not really expect to be in the top ten of the results. However, it shows that my shape is good and it provides great confidence for the Flèche du Sud, a really important race for us. The whole team was very strong at Flèche Ardennaise and this will for sure be the same at Flèche du Sud. We can aim for a good result in the GC with Szymon, every stage can be decisive and one can find some difficulties each day. Why not also go for a stage win as well? All in all I am looking forward to be racing in Luxembourg again.

Stages Flèche du Sud
09.05 | Berbourg – Berbourg (78,5 km)
10.05 | Rumelange – Rumelange (151,1 km)
11.05 | Wincrange – Wincrange (137,5 km)
12.05 | Roeser – Roeser (147,5 km)
13.05 | Esch-sur-Alzette – Esch-sur-Alzette (152,1 km)