cycling news / Szymon Rekita wins hard stage at Tour du Jura

BY OUTSPRINTING HIS FELLOW ATTACKER, SZYMON REKITA WAS ABLE TO WIN THE FIRST STAGE OF THE DIFFICULT TOUR DU JURA. IN HOLLAND, LEOPARD PRO CYCLING HAD NO LUCK AT THE ARNO WALLAARD MEMORIAL


“At eight kilometers from the finish, a small group caught us, but I still had power to attack.”

“When you see the profile of the race and the winners of previous editions of the Tour du Jura, then you can be sure that the race will be really hard.” It was with these words that Szymon Rekita previewed the tough Tour du Jura stage race. The opening stage proved already to be a very hard one with no less than five KOM sprints between Poligny and Salins-les-Bains. The opening phase was hectic with multiple attacks from different groups. Also Leopard Pro Cycling’s Pit Leyder was involved, but it was only after eighty kilometers when a dangerous  group of fourteen formed itself, with Szymon Rekita amongst them. The cooperation in the lead was really good, altough the advantage never went over 1’45”.  

As the race progressed and the terrain became more and more difficult, the leading group fell apart and five riders remained with Leopard’s Pole still amongst them. In the last twenty kilometers, when the third and fourth climb followed in quick succession, the race exploded.  A small bunch caught the leaders back, but Szymon Rekita was already gone as he tried a solo break in the final three thousand meters. Only Carl Fredrik Hagen was able to bridge to the 24-year-old. In the final kilometer, Szymon Rekita was able to beat the rider from Norway and thus take the stage win and the yellow leaders jersey. Now all focus is on defending the jersey in tomorrow’s difficult final stage from Villeneuve-sous-Pymont to Arbois.

Szymon Rekita: “Today I wanted to wait for the final climbs, but when I saw a good group of eleven riders attack after about eighty kilometers, I decided to also go in the break. We established a good lead, because the cooperation between all of us went really well. At eight kilometers from the finish, a small group caught us, but I still had power to attack. With only three kilometers to go, I tried to go solo. A guy from Joker catched me, but I could beat him in the sprint. Now I am looking forward to defend the yellow leaders jersey tomorrow with the team!”

Tour du Jura – Result & GC after stage 1
1. Szymon Rekita (POL)
28. Pit Leyder (LUX) + 4’25”
34. Filip Maciejuk (POL) s.t.
70. Luc Wirtgen (LUX) + 15’15”
DNF. Gaëtan Pons (LUX)

Meanwhile, a second part of Leopard Pro Cycling took part in the Arno Wallaard Memorial in Holland. In this Dutch race, there was a lack of wind to make the race hard. Instead the race was really controlled and at first there were no succesfull breakaways.  About halfway into the race, Leopard Pro Cycling’s Mario Spengler bridged together with Maikel Zijlaard to the lonely leader Thymen Arensman. The trio in front managed to get a lead up to thirty seconds, but when a group of twenty left the peloton behind, the gap was quickly gone. After the groups merged togehter, four riders went into another attack. As no one in the peloton decided to take responsibility, they never saw them back. For Leopard Pro Cycling, Jens Reynders, Jan Brockhoff and Mario Spengler ‘easily’ finished in the bunch.

Arno Wallaard Memorial
41. Jens Reynders (BEL) + 0’19”
42. Mario Spengler (SUI) s.t.
52. Jan Brockhoff (GER) s.t.
76. Pit Schlechter (LUX) + 0’37”
114. Charlie Quarterman (GBR) + 3’17”