cycling news / Satisfying start to the season
THE FIRST FOUR DAYS OF RACING ARE IN THE BOOKS. AFTER A FEW DAYS IN THE SOUTH OF TURKEY, LEOPARD PRO CYCLING CAN BE HAPPY WITH THE START IT MADE TO THE 2018 CAMPAIGN
Attacking race style delivers multiple top 10 finishes at Tour of Antalya
The race almost couldn’t start better for the Luxembourgish UCI Continental Team as new Leopard rider Konrad Gessner already sprinted to the third position in the opening stage after a very solid lead-out by his teammates. In his slipsteam, Alexander Krieger was able to cross the line in eighth, which was not a bad start at all.
The second day proved to be a very tough one. Only 133 riders were able to reach the finish line within the time cut. Unfortunately, Leopard’s Charlie Quarterman was one of the riders that had to leave the race. Nevertheless, Alexander showed great quality by taking ninth on the day as part of a first, small chasing group where also Luc Wirtgen and Szymon Rekita found their place. This was a good sign for the next day, when a short 32 kilometers stage was planned that led the race up to Feslikan. It was on this climb that Rekita secured an overall top ten finish by just losing 1’30” to stage winner Artem Ovechkin.
On the final day, a bunch sprint was to be expected, but still Luc Wirtgen and Gaëtan Pons tried their luck in breakaways. With just five kilometers from the end of the Tour of Analtay, Gaëtan and his fellow attackers were caught. All eyes on the fast guys and thus tandem Krieger-Gessner. Both Germans did everything good, but didn’t find the gap: fourth and seventh. In the overall classification, Rekita was the best placed Leopard rider in ninth, followed by Wirtgen (18th) and Krieger (22nd). This led to a third position in the team classification of the UCI 2.2 race.
Markus Zingen, Team Manager: “I am very happy with the start to our season. Every day we were able to make the race and by doing this we managed to get some good results. Of course we already took a podium place with Konrad in the first stage, but later also other team members showed their qualities. We rode very active, we for example had Luc and Gaëtan in the breakaways on the final day. If you combine this with the good finishing positions of Alexander, Luc and Szymon, the ninth place in the GC, the sixth place in the young riders classification and the third position in the team ranking, we can only be satsified. With this race in mind, we can build up for the upcoming races where it is important to work well together and to be present in front when we need to be.”