cycling news / New top 10 results before Tour Alsace
AT THE GP PÉRENCHIES, KRIEGER AND NÕMMELA COLLECTED ANOTHER TWO TOP TEN FINISHES FOR LEOPARD PRO CYCLING, GIVING THE TEAM A GOOD MORALE FOR THE UPCOMING IMPORTANT WEEK.
RACE REPORT: GP Pérenchies (UCI 1.2)
RACING IN A PARIS-ROUBAIX ATMOSPHERE
At the GP Pérenchies, one could really sense the Paris-Roubaix atmosphere. Cobbles, wind and the race only being within a short distance of the world famous Vélodrome, made sure that everyone was focused. In the beginning of the race attack after attack was being pulled back by the peloton. Once a front group established, Carmelo Foti was able to join in, leaving his teammates in comfort in the bunch.
In the second part of the race, with tricky pavé sections, the vigorous pace caused for a real Paris-Roubaix style battle between the front group and the bunch. The front group – without Foti after a puncture, but with Krieger after an impressive solo – was caught with only two kilometers to go after which the victory was up for grabs for the fast guys in the bunch sprint. Alexander Krieger and Aksel Nõmmela both sprinted to a top ten result, a good performance especially as Alexander made some serious efforts on the penultimate cobbled section.
Alexander Krieger: The GP Pérenchies is always a very nice race with the cobbles. I really like it. It was great that we had Carmelo in the front group. In the final I joined a dangerous group and with 15 kilometers to go we still had a lead of one minute. A French amateur team was able to close us down, so we were back in the bunch with just two kilometers to go. It was an uphill finish with headwind, so I was able to reposition myself in the front of the bunch. I finished in fourth, but the third position was really close. I am happy that I have been able to fight for the win in the last races as it’s not easy to be in this position. The whole team did a very good job today, I am really proud of my teammates.”
Gregor Willwohl, DS: “I am happy with how our team performed. We made sure that Alexander and Aksel were protected all day and it was good that we had Carmelo in the group of the day. This group stayed away for quite a while, but unfortunately Carmelo punctured. We wanted to be in front at the pavés, in which we succeeded. On the penultimate section, I saw a very strong Alexander who bridged solo to the front of the race. In the end, it’s a shame that it all came down to a bunch sprint, but the result is really satisfying.”
NEXT RACE: Tour Alsace (UCI 2.2)
ROSTER: JAN BROCKHOFF, CARMELO FOTI, ALEXANDER KRIEGER, AKSEL NÕMMELA, SZYMON REKITA & TOM WIRTGEN – DS: MARKUS ZINGEN
Coming off a strong team performance at Pérenchies, the next big race already shows up at the calendar. With the Tour Alsace, the Leopard Pro Cycling team can expect five days of tough conditions in eastern France, close to the border with Germany and Switzerland. On Wednesday the 26th of July, the race starts off in an unsual fashion. In Sausheim, a 4,7 kilometers long prologue awaits the riders, in which the teams will be divided in half, so that each team will have two times three riders at the start. The times of the seperate halves will be added up, so that a winner of the mini team time trial can be decided.
The Tour Alsace opts for a brutal start to the race with a summit finish on top of La Planche des Belles Filles on the second day, before the riders find a slightly easier route on day three from Belfort to Blotzheim. With five categorized climbs and another mountain top finish, the Tour Alsace will most probably be decided in the penultimate stage, altough the last day still invites for some serious racing as the bunch will cover 146,2 kilometers from Neuf-Brisach to Dannemarie.