Last Saturday, Leopard Pro Cycling was active at the Circuit des Ardennes, but no less than five other riders were representing their national teams at the Tour of Flanders. Almost one week after Alberto Bettiol took the win in the Elite race, Leopard's Pit Leyder crossed the line in fourth at the U23 race.
The Tour of Flanders U23 started and finished in Oudenaarde. In between there were 167,5 demanding kilometers, but three attackers didn't shy away for a shift in the break of the day. Despite taking four minutes advantage quite quick, the pack had all under control and three riders managed to bridge the gap to the front. With different nations feeling confident, everything came back together with still 80 kilometers to go. A new group of five riders went away and they managed to stay away until 30 kilometers from the finish line.
In one of the more difficult sections of the race, a new, strong front group of six attacked, without any Leopard rider involved. Because the gap didn't grow too quickly, the bunch had perfect sight on the escapees for most of the time and was able to catch them in time. Despite several new attempts to stay away, the race went on to be decided in a bunch sprint. In this sprint, Leopard's Pit Leyder showed his strong legs and took a very solid fourth place. Filip Maciejuk also completed the race.
Pit Leyder: "The Tour of Flanders is always a very hard race, but the Luxembourgish roster was a strong one and everyone did a great job. I came together with Kevin Geniets in the first group, but this was not without the help of our teammates who brought us in great positions at the crucial moments of the race. Towards the end, I felt better and better and I still had the legs to sprint. The fourth position is of course a very nice result in this important race. I want to thank all my team mates and the staff for the great job and I really enjoyed riding this race. This result gives me a lot of confidence for the upcoming weeks and months."
Tour of Flanders U23 (1.Ncup)
4. Pit Leyder (LUX) s.t.
65. Filip Maciejuk (POL) + 5'38"
DNF. Mario Spengler (SUI), Arthur Kluckers & Colin Heiderscheid (both LUX)