In our 2018 review, Leopard Pro Cycling looks back to the season with its riders. In this second part, Filip Maciejuk reviews the months of March and April where he showed his first signs of class at the Triptyque des Monts et Châteaux (2.2U) and the Carpathian Couriers Race (2.2U).
"2018 was my first year as a Continental rider, so all experiences were new to me."
Filip Maciejuk started his 2018 campaign with solid races at Paris-Troyes and Gent-Wevelgem U23, before the then 18-year-old took on the well-known Triptyque des Monts et Châteaux. This Belgian U23 race was only the third race for Maciejuk in the Leopard outfit, but the way he performed in Belgium made it look like he was already part of the U23 peloton for quite some time. After not getting in trouble in the first tough stages, Maciejuk was able to show his capabilities in a 9,6 kilometers long time trial. Maciejuk finished fifth amongst the worlds best talents and rode himself to a sixth position overall and the leaders jersey of the youth classification. He secured both with great dedication in the closing stage.
Filip Maciejuk: "I think my performance at the Triptyque des Monts et Châteaux was one of the best from the past season. It was my first big race in the U23 category and thanks to the help of my teammates, I could secure my sixth position in the GC. I am very happy with this result and I am sure that I will remember this race for years."
The attention of the Polish national team was drawn and Maciejuk was selected for the Carpathian Couriers Race, a tough race in his home country Poland. Already on the second day, Maciejuk proved that he was more than capable to compete for a top result as he placed himself in sixth overall after a hard stage. Being the first Pole in the overall standings, he immediately became the team leader. With a sixth place in the climb time trial the day after, Maciejuk's GC position improved which he continued to do day by day. Prior to the final stage Maciejuk - who wore the leaders jersey as best young rider since day two - was already third overall, 26 seconds down to the race leader. However, with an astonishing ride, Leopard's youngster was able to take over and win the entire race. A very promising result and Maciejuk confirmed his talent later in the season for example at the Szlakiem Walk Majora Hubala (2nd overall and best young rider), the Polish ITT Championships (4th Elite & 1st U23), the U23 European ITT Championships (7th), Puchar Uzdrowisk Karpackick (10th) and the Chrono Champenois (8th).
Filip Maciejuk: "The Carpathian Couriers Race was one of the longest and hardest races I have ever done. I felt better day by day and at the end of the week, I was able to fully show my talent and come home with the overall win. 2018 was my first year as a Continental rider, so all experiences were new to me. I feel that I am in the right place at Leopard Pro Cycling and I already look forward to next season, which could be a very important one in my career. Next year I hope to be more consistent all year long and fight for the results together with my team mates."