Roster: Jack Burke, Colin Heiderscheid, Pit Leyder, Filip Maciejuk, Szymon Rekita & Mario Spengler - DS: Markus Zingen
The big weeks have arrived for Leopard Pro Cycling. Starting tomorrow, the team takes on the Flèche du Sud, before heading to the Tour de Luxembourg next week. At Flèche du Sud, Leopard is looking to improve on last year's results.
There is no room for an easy start into this year's Flèche du Sud. Wednesday evening, a 3,3 kilometers long prologue marks the start of the race. Nothing too serious you might think, but when you take a glance at the race profile, you will see the 340 meters long Côte du Dieswee, averaging 15,9% with a maximum slope of 22,5%. Here, the legs will already be tested big time and GC contenders have nowhere to hide. Day two is again a very hard one with seven climbs on the route, one of them being the Langegrund (2300m at 4,3%) which is situated on the local circuit. On Friday, the race takes the riders up the climb to Bourscheid after a 132,4 kilometers long stage. You have to be up here with the best to have a chance of overall success. Then, on paper, Saturday's stage four looks fairly easy, despite having the climb of the well-known Mur de Wormeldange (500m at 13%) along the route. A bunch sprint is not unthinkable before the riders will have a go in the final stage to Esch-sur-Alzette on Sunday. All will be decided in this stage with no less than six ascents of the Côte Chemin Keup (1200m at 5,5%). It goes without saying that this climb will play a key role in the battle for taking the GC win.
For Leopard Pro Cycling, a talented team with two Luxembourgers will sign the start sheet. U23 National Road Champion Pit Leyder finished eighth in the GC last year before having another top class result at the Tour de Luxembourg one week later. With Jack Burke and Szymon Rekita, the team brings also two strong climbers to the race, whereas Colin Heiderscheid hopes to show his fast sprinting legs to the home crowd.
Pit Leyder: "I am looking forward to race on home soil again. We have a very strong team this year with several guys that can go for a GC result and with Colin we have a guy for the sprint finishes as well. The spirit in the team is great and I think that we will have a lot of fun this week. For myself, I hope to be able to perform on the same level as last year and then we will see in the race what will happen. The team tactics are pretty open as most guys from our team are able to perform well in these kind of races."
Flèche du Sud (UCI 2.2)
29.05 | Esch-sur-Alzette - Esch-sur-Alzette | 3,3 km
30.05 | Rumelange - Rumelange | 157,1 km
31.05 | Bourscheid - Bourscheid | 132,4 km
01.06 | Mondorf - Roeser | 155,6 km
02.06 | Kayl - Esch-sur-Alzette | 138,2 km