cycling news / Second part of the season starts at Rund um Köln

Last week, the Škoda Tour de Luxembourg marked the ending of the first part of the season for Leopard Pro Cycling. Today, the second part starts at the Rund um Köln. With renewed motivation and dedication, the team aims for a top ten place in the fourth largest city of Germany.

Selection: Jan Brockhoff, Carmelo Foti, Alexander Krieger, Aksel Nõmmela, Patrick Olesen & Laurent Vanden Bak – DS: Florian Salzinger

At 10h35 the peloton will have the neutralized start in the city center, after which they travel north east where the official start of the race will be given in Weidenbruch. From there, the direction of the route will remain the same and after 20 minutes of racing, already the first intermediate sprint is on the menu. After one hour of racing, the first climb of the day needs to be covered, which is the Agathaberg. From there, the peloton makes it way back to Köln, but not without some more climbs on the route as the Am Dimberg, Dombach-Sander Straße (twice) and Schloß Bensberg (twice) needs to be covered. After the local laps in Köln, the finish is to be expected at 15h35.

After his injury – because of the crash in Flèche du Sud -, Aksel Nõmmela rode a solid race at the Škoda Tour de Luxembourg and now he is back for Rund um Köln: “I am partly happy with my performance in Luxembourg. I could finish the race, even though I had a very insufficient preparation for the race because of my hand injury. On the other hand I was disappointed as well, as I couldn’t help the team on crucial moments as much as I wanted. I am not familiar witht he course of Rund um Köln, but nevertheless I think we can have a great team effort here.”

Sports Director Florian Salzinger looks forward to the race he liked as a rider: “Rund um Köln is a sprint friendly race with a very hilly middle part. I liked the race very much as a rider, because it gives aggressive riders the chance to challenge the teams looking for a sprint. In Luxembourg, the riders experienced that they can come close to the best riders and this will be very helpful for the training and the upcoming races. They know what is needed to make the final step and to go one step further over the limit. For this race, I therefore think that we must have a rider in the breakaway and create interesting race situations. At least a top ten result must be our goal.”