cycling news / Leopard to participate in Elfstedenronde in Bruges

When Bruges lost the start of the Tour of Flanders to Antwerp, the city in West-Flanders decided to create its own classic type race: the Euro Shop Elfstedenronde, better known as Ride Bruges or Bruges Cycling Classic. Next Sunday, Leopard Pro Cycling will be present at the start line.

Roster: Jan Brockhoff, Jan Dieteren, Alexander Krieger, Aksel Nõmmela, Gaëtan Pons, Jens Reynders, Laurent Vanden Bak, Tom Wirtgen – DS: Tom Flammang

The start of the Elfstedenronde will be in the historic city centre of Bruges. From here, the peloton will follow the exact same route as the Tour of Flanders to leave the capital of the West-Flanders province. The official start will take place at Oostkamp, sending the riders on their way over a distance of 199 kilometers, consisting of countless obstacles. From Oostkamp, the race will make a big clockwise loop through cities such as Ardooie, Roeselare, Diksmuide and Nieuwpoort. When the race leaves Roeselare one expects a nervous peloton as the first of seventeen cobbled sections – the Steenstraat in Diksmuide – will follow shortly.

From here, the race continues its way through the typical Flanders landscape back to Bruges. The riders will have to be careful to not misjudge the wind along the coast and through the flat countryside. Just before entering the local circuits, three pavés are on the menu which follow quickly after one another. If you think that the local laps will be easy, then you are wrong. As if the race hasn’t been selective enough, there are still two more cobblestone sections in this loop of 16,6 kilometers that the race will cover two times. The last obstacle of the race ends at just over 5 kilometers from the finish line, causing that only the strongest riders can survive and compete for the victory.

Laurent Vanden Bak: “I am really looking forward to start in this race. You can describe it as one of my home races as we will ride on the roads I train on. We even will have a passage through Izegem, the city I live in. Therefore, I will try to pass on important information about the course. I expect the riders of the Leopard Pro Cycling team amongst the top finishers, the morale in the team is very good after a outstanding Tour de Luxembourg. Personally, I have had a disappointing start to the season because of sickness and bad luck, but now I have a good feeling again and I can’t wait to race!”