cycling news / Leopard takes on Tour du Jura & Arno Wallaard Memorial
HEADING INTO THE FINAL HALF OF THE BUSY MONTH OF APRIL, LEOPARD PRO CYCLING FINDS ITSELF RACING A DOUBLE PROGRAM. WHILST ONE PART OF THE TEAM HEADS TO FRANCE FOR THE TOUR DU JURA, THE OTHER PART TRAVELS TO HOLLAND FOR THE ARNO WALLAARD MEMORIAL
ROSTER Tour du Jura: Pit Leyder, Filip Maciejuk, Gaëtan Pons, Szymon Rekita & Luc Wirtgen – DS: Gregor Willwohl
At the Tour du Jura, Leopard Pro Cycling starts without the foreseen Alexander Krieger, who has to take a break because of seat problems. Without the German, the team was still able to select a strong roster for this two-day race that takes the riders into the mountains on the French-Swiss-German border. The first stage – from Poligny to Salins-les-Bains – starts by heading south for an easier local lap that mostly goes downhill. From there, the race turns back north into some difficult climbs. In the last seventy kilometers, the riders will have to face no less than five difficult climbs, before heading downhill into the finish. On Sunday, the second stage will decide who takes the overall victory. Since this closing stage has up and down sections all day long, this one can be seen as the most difficult one. Starting in Villeneuve-sous-Pymont, the race again will approach five mountain climbs on which there will be a real battle to decide who takes the yellow leaders jersey home. With the hard terrain and three strong UCI Pro Continental teams at the start, Leopard Pro Cycling knows that the race will not be easy.
Szymon Rekita: “When you see the profile of the race and the winners of previous editions of the Tour du Jura, then you can be sure that the race will be really hard. For me, that’s not a problem because I like selective races. In the last weeks, my shape and legs have been good. This race comes in the right time, so I can not wait to do my best, but of course you also need some luck as well. I am not yet satisfied with my season thusfar, but I hope that my best shape is coming soon.“
21.04 | 1 | Poligny – Salins-les-Bains (163 km)
22.04 | 2 | Villeneuve-sous-Pymont – Arbois (161 km)
ROSTER Arno Wallaard Memorial: Jan Brockhoff, Charlie Quarterman, Jens Reynders, Pit Schlechter & Mario Spengler – DS: Markus Zingen
The contrast to the Tour du Jura could not be bigger if you look at the Arno Wallaard Memorial. No mountains, just rather flat roads in the open will cause for some typical Dutch style of racing. The race starts in Meerkerk from where the peloton starts two big local laps of 76 kilometers each. During these local laps, one can expect some small roads, difficult wind sections on the dikes and the typical Dutch road infrastructure as main competitors. After finishing the two big laps, the race then heads into five smaller ones of just six and a half kilometers. This 184 kilometers long race will not lie, since only the strongest guys will be able to compete for the victory. Last year, Leopard Pro Cycling had Alexander Krieger (9th) and Aksel Nõmmela (12th) in the first part of the race, this year a strong selection takes part of which Mario Spengler was build for these types of races.
Mario Spengler: “I don’t really know the race, but what I have heard of it so far is that it really suits me. I like the races with a lot of wind and small roads, so I want to be present in the first group to be able to fight for the win in the final. The season so far has not been that bad, but it all could have gone better too. I started the season good, but for example at Tour de Normandie and Triptyque des Monts et Châteaux some things did not go that perfect. Let’s see what we can do at the Arno Wallaard Memorial.“
21.04 | Meerkerk – Meerkerk (184 km)