Roster: Jack Burke, Konrad Gessner, Alexander Krieger, Jan Maas, Szymon Rekita & Bas Van Belle - DS: Jan Brockhoff
Last week, Leopard Pro Cycling could already get used to riding in the hills at the Volta Limburg Classic. This Friday, the team will start at the Circuit des Ardennes, a three-day stage race that has even more hills on the course. Leopard heads towards France with a strong roster and is aiming for top results.
It's fairly easy to summarize what the Circuit des Ardennes is all about: a load of very talented bike riders making life hard for each other on French roads that go up and down all day long. After the race will be launched at the team presentation on Thursday evening, the first stage on Friday is already a big one. The pack will be led criss-cross through the Ardennes region, close to the border with Belgium and Luxembourg, where they will find a race that gets tougher once the finish line comes closer. Day two is perhaps the most difficult day with a lot of difficult climbs in the final part of the stage, which will for sure be important for the general classification. No time to rest however, as the final day will have two short stages. In the morning, the profile of stage 3a seems not too hard, but since the stage is only 60 kilometers long, it will be a great battle. In the afternoon there is one more chance to change up the GC with a few steep climbs in the late final that will hit even harder after already three stages in the books. Leopard brings some guys with strong climbers legs to the race. One of them is Canadian Jack Burke.
Jack Burke: "I am looking forward to Circuit des Ardennes. So far all the races I have done this year have been completely new for me which has been challenging but incredible for my development as a more complete rider. Circuit des Ardennes has some really selective course profiles so that is what I am most looking forward to compared to some of the flatter profiles we have e done this year."
Circuit des Ardennes (UCI 2.2)
12.04 - Neuvizy - Launois-sur-Vence | 189 km
13.04 - Rocroi - Monthermé |158 km
14.04 - Nouvion-sur-Meuse - Aiglemont | 60 km
14.04 - Villers-Semeuse - Charleville-Mézières | 101 km