cycling news / Leopard replaces yellow for white jersey – Krieger still 3rd

In a very tough Skoda Tour stage, Leopard’s Alexander Krieger unfortunately lost his yellow leaders jersey. The German is now third in the GC, just before Pit Leyder who was present in the main group and is now sixth overall and leader in the young riders ranking.

Pit Leyder: “We already had more succes in this race than we could have hoped for!”

Today it was time for the third stage of the Skoda Tour, which took the riders from Eschweiler in the North to Differdange in the South over a total racing distance of 163,8 kilometers. Having the yellow leaders jersey with Alexander Krieger, all Leopard riders were highly motivated to give it their all on the often difficult Luxembourgish roads. Right after the start sign, a nervous peloton already turned up the heat as one after the other breakaway group tried to establish a lead. This meant that after just 20 kilometers of racing, the peloton was already split into two parts. In the end, the groups came back together.

Then four riders attacked and this time, the peloton approved the move. The lead went up to two minutes, but was being controlled by Cofidis,  Verandas Willems and Leopard. This lead quickly was brought back in a few kilometers time, which caused that there was a regroupement général  with still over 50 kilometers and three local laps with the Col de l’Europe to go. It was on these local laps that the new attacks began just as both Alexander Krieger and Alex Kirsch (WB Aqua Protect) were hurting in the pack. Attacks of amongst other Jan Tratnik, Jonas Koch (both CCC) and Eduard Prades (Euskadi) looked dangerous, but did not make it to the finish line where a group of fifteen – with Leopard’s youngster Pit Leyder – were going to sprint for the victory. It was Andrea Pasqualon (Wanty) who took the win for the second day in a row, Pit Leyder crossed the line in a very good ninth position which resulted in the white leaders jersey of the young riders classification.

Behind the first group, Alexander Krieger finished in 21st with a disadvantage of 17 seconds. Thanks to the bonification game, Krieger finds himself back in third position overall, 23 seconds behind Andrea Pasqualon and 16 seconds behind Jan Tratnik. Pit Leyder – now sixth – finds himself 25 seconds back to the race leader, but positions four to eleven are still only seperated with 10 seconds. Everything is still possible on the last day when the race heads from Mersch to Luxembourg, where the difficult Pabeierbierg will decide over the overall win.

Pit Leyder: “First of all, it was really nice to ride always on the front with the yellow leaders jersey of Alexander, especially as a Luxembourgish UCI Continental Team on the Luxembourgish roads in front of the home crowd. Unfortunately we lost the yellow jersey, but we can still be happy. We have the white leaders jersey and Alexander is still third in the GC, so tomorrow we for sure have a good chance to secure this podium place. Everything we still can establish from this point on is a bonus, since we already had more success in this race than we could have hoped for. All in all, I am really happy and I am also proud of all my team mates. We had a very strong team performance today!”

Result Stage 3 | Eschweiler – Differdange (163,8 km)
9. Pit Leyder (LUX) s.t.
21. Alexander Krieger (GER) + 0’17”
30. Szymon Rekita (POL) + 0’17”
72. Jan Brockhoff (GER) + 7’34”
85. Jens Reynders (BEL) + 12’26”
92. Gaëtan Pons (LUX) + 21’39”
DNF. Mario Spengler (SUI)

General classification after stage 3
3. Alexander Krieger (GER) + 0’23”
6. Pit Leyder (LUX) + 0’25”
24. Szymon Rekita (POL) + 1’03”
66. Jan Brockhoff (GER) + 8’16”
83. Jens Reynders (BEL) + 13’34”
90. Gaëtan Pons (LUX) + 22’16”