cycling news / Szymon Rekita takes win in second stage Tour of Rhodes
On the fifth race day of Leopard Pro Cycling’s 2017 season, the first win is already there. In the hard and rainy queen stage of the International Tour of Rhodes, Szymon took the victory after a great solo and an amazing team effort.
The Luxembourgish UCI Continental Team already had a few good results on Rhodes, so the morale at the start line was good, despite the fact that the rain was pouring down heavily, again. Because there was a hard mountain on the route after already 28 kilometers, a fast start was to be expected. Therefore, the Leopard riders wanted to be in the front of the race and be present in different groups if this was needed.
After this first obstacle, the Estonian Aksel Nõmmela took his chance to attack and six other guys joined him. This was a clever move. Not only was this a strong group, also the fact that the peloton consisted of only about 45 riders and five Leopard guys trying to somewhat disturb the chase, made this a promising attack. Unfortunately for Nõmmela, some of the bigger teams were not involved in this break and they closed the gap after a long descent.
After this breakaway group was caught, Carmelo Foti was the next Leopard rider to attack. He was joined by one other rider and they quickly had a lead of two minutes. As the race was approaching more climbs, the elimination started. Although Foti was also reeled in, the team still had six guys amongst the first fourty.
More attacks followed on the sloping course, which continued the elimination. Tom Wirtgen, Szymon Rekita and Aksel Nõmmela were still part of the first group. With 15 kilometres to go, Szymon Rekita decided to give it a go and the time trial specialist quickly had an advantage of 30 seconds which was enough to finish the race solo. To finish it all off, Nõmmela sprinted to fifth place, Tom Wirtgen takes the U23 leaders jersey and also Jan Brockhoff and Alexander Krieger managed to come back to the peloton in the final kilometers.
Szymon Rekita: “Today it was again a hard and rainy day. However, we managed to be in the front all race long, also at moments where it was very important. With about 15 kilometres to go I was in the front of the race and decided to attack and try to win the stage, which I did. Big thank you to all the guys and the staff for some excellent work. It’s nice to be part of such a strong team and we will now continue to have more successes.”