In our 2018 review, Leopard Pro Cycling looks back to the season with its riders. In this fourth part, we asked Szymon Rekita about his experiences in July & August, a period in which he rode two big races, the Tour Alsace (2.2) and the Deutschland Tour (2.1).
"All in all, I am happy with my season, I know that I made a big step."
As soon as the roads go up, the morale of Leopard Pro Cycling's Szymon Rekita gets a boost. Rekita is the go-to-guy for the general classification in the stage races and already proved himself early in the season with a ninth place overall at the Tour of Anatalya (2.2) and the Tour du Jura (2.2). In the latter, Rekita even won the first mountainous stage. Later on, Rekita took fourth at the Circuit de Wallonie, which has a lot of uphill sections in it as well. This all boosted his confidence for the Tour Alsace and the Deutschland Tour, two major races where the 24-year-old wanted to be at his strongest.
However, the Tour Alsace didn't start too well for the Pole that was a trainee with Trek Factory Racing in 2015. At the first important stage up to the well-known La Plance des Belles Filles, Rekita almost lost three minutes and the GC ambitions were directly over. It's good to see that Rekita was able to show his willpower, he attacked and came back with a sixth and fifth position in the tough stages in the weekend, which saw him moving up to tenth overall.
At the end of August, Rekita stood at the start line of the Deutschland Tour in Koblenz. At this race, Rekita was maybe the most active of all as he tried to attack multiple times in the finals of the stages, but there were just a few percents missing from finishing amongst the best WorldTour riders. In the end, Rekita finished twentieth overall, being the very best Continental rider with a big margin.
Szymon Rekita: "For this season my goal was to be in a good shape all year long, so I could perform in hard races such as the Tour du Jura, Tour de Luxembourg, Tour Alsace and the Deutschland Tour. At the Tour Alsace I had very good legs, but unfortunately not at the most important stage to La Planche des Belles Filles. This was a shame, but I was able to show good racing in the other stages. At Deutschland Tour I also tried to show myself, but the luck was not there. However, it was an amazing race with big names on the startlist, a lot of spectators and a very nice route. All in all, I am happy with my season, I know that I made a big step. Of course results could be better, but I learned a lot in 2018 and now I know where I should work on to come back even stronger next season."