cycling news / Pit Leyder 8th overall at Flèche du Sud
After the first stages of Flèche du Sud, Leopard Pro Cycling has been able to maintain the leaders jersey of best Luxembourgish rider with Pit Leyder. Also was it able to place Leyder in the top ranks of the results with an eighth overall position.
Attractive racing style in the last stages of the Flèche du Sud
Since Alexander Krieger was only beaten by Filippo Fortin in the second stage of the Flèche du Sud, the entire Leopard Pro Cycling Team was really motivated to fight for the victory again in the remainder of the race. During stage three on Friday this was clearly visible as the team rode really active, as was planned. Having rider in form Szymon Rekita in the ranks, Leopard decided to pace the peloton before the second climb of the day to make the race hard. Following this pace, Szymon Rekita attacked and the bunch split in many groups. With both Szymon Rekita and Pit Leyder in the leading group, things were looking good for the Luxembourgish outfit. However, Leopard’s Pole was not done yet. He attacked another time and three riders joined him. With an advantage of one minute on the top of the last climbs, the Austrian Team Felbermayr was forced to work hard and they caught the guys in front back with one and a half laps to go. A counter attack managed to stay clear and finish ten seconds before the pack. For Leopard Pit Leyder finished as tenth, which saw him moving up to eighth in the GC and taking the leaders jersey for best Luxembourger.
With Leopard taking risks and investing a lot of energy into good efforts, the team saw that good results were not far off. Therefore, the plan for the two closing stages in the weekend was the same. Unfortunately, on Saturday, Leopard was not able to mix in and answer the different race situations. First there was a solo leader, then a group of ten was in front, before a duo became a trio that gathered a lead that went up to almost two minutes. In the last ten kilometers, Leopard Pro Cycling’s best placed rider and yellow jersey Pit Leyder had to change his bike. Fortunately, the 21-year-old was able to come back to the peloton in time before crossing the line in fourteenth. At the finish, the trio in front still had a 58 seconds lead to the pack where Alexander was the sixth fastest sprinter.
In the closing stage on Sunday, a six men break went away with three dangerous riders in it, amongst others ex-Leopard rider Tom Wirtgen. The leaders build a lead that went up to three minutes but due to the work of Cibel and Felbermayr the peloton came back slowly but surely. With one final lap to go in the streets of Esch-sur-Alzette, the advantage was still one minute and it was only in the last kilometers that there was a complete pack that prepared itself for a final push in the bunch sprint. No Leopard Pro Cycling riders were involved, but all in all the team can be satisfied with the Flèche du Sud: eighth overall, best Luxembourgish rider, best Luxembourgish team, a second place in stage two and a top ten position in the penultimate stage. By being close to the action all race long, Pit Leyder can be happy with his performance in the last five days.
Pit Leyder: “These five days of racing in Luxembourg were really cool and it is pretty special to race on your training routes. Of course the Flèche du Sud is never an easy race, but we had a strong team and we can be happy with our performance during the whole week. Personally I already knew before that the race suits me well, however I did not think too much about a good GC place because we had Szymon as our team leader. When he lost some time on the first day due to bad luck and punctures the situation changed a little bit. In the end I am happy with my eighth place in the GC, a big thank you to my team mates and all the staff. My shape was really good this week which makes me confident for the next races.”
Results Flèche du Sud
8. Pit Leyder* (LUX) + 1’08”
34. Szymon Rekita (POL) + 1’29”
45. Luc Wirtgen (LUX) + 6’44”
63. Jens Reynders (BEL) + 8’58”
69. Alexander Krieger (GER) + 12’07”
104. Mario Spengler (SUI) + 19’30”
* Best Luxembourger