Last weekend, Leopard Pro Cycling was active at both the Volta Limburg Classic and the Triptyque des Monts & Châteaux. Unfortunately, the team was not able to bring home top results in both races.
The Triptyque des Monts et Châteaux started with an unusual controlled stage where the winner came from a bunch sprint after a three-man breakaway. At two kilometers from the line there was a really narrow bridge and there a crash happened in the front of the pack. Because of this crash, Colin Heiderscheid and Pit Leyder - who were in a good position - were forced to stop. This meant that both the stage win and the GC were gone, since the jury decided to not practice the 3 kilometer rule.
On the second day, the team tried to come back with a strong time trial performance of Filip Maciejuk. The Pole did not have his best day and finished as 13th, which is not bad, but both the team and Filip himself hoped for more. In the afternoon, there was another stage planned and the team needed to risk something. In the first, hilly part of the stage, Leopard rode active with a few guys trying their luck. Unfortunately, the final part of the race was flat and therefore a bunch sprint was inevitable. In this sprint, Colin Heiderscheid crossed the line in tenth.
On the closing day of the Triptyque des Monts & Châteaux, the team applied the same tactics as the day before. The riders tried to make the race hard and exactly this happened. After the hills, a first group of about thirthy riders had three Leopard jerseys in it with Pit Leyder, Arthur Kluckers and Filip Maciejuk. Because of the fact that there were still strong guys in the second bunch, the gap was closed. Despite several attacks in the final, the race was again decided in a bunch sprint. Pit Leyder unfortunately crashed, Colin Heiderscheid finished eighteenth. In the GC, Filip Maciejuk was Leopard Pro Cycling's best rider in position seventeen.
Markus Zingen, Team Manager: "Because of the crash and time gap in the first stage, we started the race already on the wrong foot as in a race like this every second counts. If the stages would have been more difficult towards the finish line, it could have been better for us. Also the luck was missing a bit, but you need to deal with that. The motivation of these young riders was there, it's unfortunate that they were not able to reward themselves with a big result. The guys learned a lot these days and they are able to deliver some nice results pretty soon."
GC Triptyque des Monts & Châteaux (UCI 2.2U)
17. Filip Maciejuk (POL) + 0'54"
31. Mario Spengler (SUI) + 1'19"
37. Pit Leyder (LUX) + 1'25"
43. Arthur Kluckers (LUX) + 1'34"
68. Colin Heiderscheid (LUX) + 2'13"
69. Bas Van Belle (NED) + 2'13"
On Saturday, Leopard Pro Cycling was also active at the Volta Limburg Classic, a race full of short, steep hills in the famous Amstel Gold Race region. The race was marked by a nervous bunch, which caused that breakaway groups were not able to establish a good lead and that all came back together at 84 kilometers from the finish line. It was in this section of the race where also Szymon Rekita tried to get involved in the breaks, but he was not able to create a gap. When the race approached the finish line in Eijsden, the strongest riders distanced themselves, unfortunately without any Leopard rider. In the end, Swiss rider Patrick Müller won the race, Szymon Rekita was first finisher for Leopard in the 34th position.
Volta Limburg Classic (UCI 1.1)
34. Szymon Rekita (POL) + 3'42"
70. Jan Maas (NED) + 5'41"
DNF. Konrad Gessner, Misch Leyder, Jack Burke, Alexander Krieger & Gaëtan Pons