Roster: Jack Burke, Colin Heiderscheid, Misch Leyder, Pit Leyder, Gaëtan Pons & Szymon Rekita - DS: Gregor Willwohl
The change of scenery could not be any bigger. Coming from Arno Wallaard Memorial's flat roads on the dikes in the Netherlands, Leopard Pro Cycling will enter the mountains of the Jura department at the Tour du Jura this weekend. Last year, Szymon Rekita was able to take a stage win. The Polish rider hopes to do so again this time around.
It was a well-deserved victory for Szymon Rekita, who attacked early in last year's mountainous opening stage. After many kilometers in the front, he beat his fellow attacker in a sprint-a-deux. In the difficult second stage, Rekita's did not came into the situation to perfectly defend his jersey and finished the races as ninth overall. This year, Leopard Pro Cycling hopes to gather the same results, starting in the opening stage around Lavans-les-St. Claude on day one. In a stage with a lot of altitude meters, four categorized climbs need to be covered. Two of them are of the first category and the last climb's summit is posted only sixteen kilometers from the line. To make things even tougher, the last three kilometers of the stage are uphill as well. One that has GC ambitions needs to be amongst the best riders here.
On the second and final day, a 163 kilometers long stage from Moissey to Dole is on the menu. In the middle part of this closing stage, there are three difficult first category climbs situated, before heading into a 60 kilometer downhill and flat stretch to the finish line. It will be the question if any chasers will have the power left to come back to the front of the race and fight for the victory. Also in this stage, the end is difficult with an uphill final kilometer. All in all, a race that should suit Leopard Pro Cycling and last year's stage winner Szymon Rekita.
Szymon Rekita "We go very motivated to the Tour du Jura after some solid results in the past stage races this year. We are convinced about our capabilities and we just do what we have to do. For myself, I want to continue the good season so far and bring home another successful result. Last year at this race, I won the first stage after a hard day in the attack. As we have shown already, we are able to do big things and it is this thought that will bring us very far."
Tour du Jura (UCI 2.2)
27.04 - Lavans-les-St. Claude - Lavans-les-St. Claude | 148 km
28.04 - Moissey - Dole | 163 km