cycling news / Movitated Leopard Pro Cycling starts at Circuit des Ardennes

Tomorrow, Friday the 7th of April, a very motivated Leopard Pro Cycling will be at the start line of Circuit des Ardennes. In northeastern France four difficult stages awaits the riders, that are experiencing a good atmosphere thanks to recent results of the team.

Roster: Carmelo Foti, Alexander Krieger, John Mandrysch, Gaëtan Pons, Charlie Quarterman, Laurent Vanden Bak – DS: Gregor Willwohl

The first stage is immediately the longest stage of this year’s Circuit des Ardennes. At noon the start sign will be given, triggering the peloton that will be racing in the surroundings of Acy-Romance whole day long. In total, the finish line will be crossed four times, the fourth time for the victory. This opening stage already consists off quite a lot altimeters – amongst them are four categorized climbs – and given the fact that the final 500 metres are uphill at an average gradient of about 3% will cause that only the strongest riders will be able to compete for the victory.

Stage two of Circuit des Ardennes will be a very difficult day as the race will go up and down all day long. The pack will start at Rochehaut, where they will finish again after 175 kilometers at a 2,8 kilometers long climb with an average increase of 5%. This finish is not the only obstacle of the day. If you take a look at the profile of this stage you can already notice fourteen uphill sections of which seven – six of the 1st and one of the 2nd category – are part of the mountain classification.

As if the race hasn’t been hard enough until this point, the peloton will have an early start on Sunday with a morning stage from Nouvion-sur-Meuse to Floing which again requires a lot of climbing despite the stage only being 78 kilometers long. For the first time the finish will not be at an uphill section, on the contrary, in this third stage the finish has been positioned right after a descent, so the approach up to the finish line will be fairly quick.

About three and a half hours after the finish of the third stage, the start of the final stage will already be given. This fourth stage is marked by local laps in and about Charleville-Mézières, where a hard battle for the overall win is to be expected. The organization managed to have a more than decent scenery for this final battle as the local laps have short and steep climbs in abundance.

Gaëtan Pons: “I’m looking forward to race at Circuit des Ardennes, it will be the first time for me on this race, but I know what I have to expect because the parcours is very challenging. Therefore we will have to be very vigilant. The team is very motivated to go for top results because of our second victory of the season last week in Triptyque des Monts et Châteaux. In the Tour de Normandie I was sick, but now I feel much better. My fourth place in a local race in Dippach last Sunday gives me confidence for this race. I go to this race without any stress, I just want to enjoy riding my bike.”

Stages Circuit des Ardennes 2017