Last weekend, Leopard Pro Cycling took part in the Ronde van Overijssel. In The Netherlands the riders had to cope with very demanding weather conditions. Now, the team heads to the Isère department in southeastern France for the Rhone Alpes Isère Tour.
Just as any other Dutch race, the Ronde van de Overijssel took the peloton over small roads and through open fields. Together with the strong wind this led to a bunch that was already torn apart mid-race. After about 70 kilometers of racing, echelons were formed and the pack split into five pieces. In the first group, there were nineteen riders present, unfortunately the Leopard Pro Cycling colors were not represented. What followed was a chase, but the chasing group was not able to bring the leaders back. Also a counter-attack of five riders - with Leopard's Alexander Krieger and Mario Spengler - was unsuccessful. In the end it was Dutch rider Nils Eekhoff who won the race. In the background, Krieger and Spengler finished in respectvely seventeenth and 21st place.
Ronde van Overijssel (1.2)
17. Alexander Krieger (GER) + 2'29"
21. Mario Spengler (SUI) + 4'08"
29. Gaëtan Pons (LUX) + 8'19"
49. Konrad Gessner (GER) + 8'19"
DNF. Jack Burke & Colin Heiderscheid
Roster: Jack Burke, Konrad Gessner, Alexander Krieger, Pit Leyder, Szymon Rekita & Mario Spengler - DS: Gregor Willwohl
In contrast to the flat roads in Overijssel, from Thursday on the team will head into the climbs of the Rhone Alpes Isère Tour. In four days, the peloton will cover no less than 24 categorized climbs, which already gives away that it will not be easy. The first stage is already a difficult one with nine ascents and a local circuit of 7,1 kilometers, which means that the Côte de Villefontaine (1,2 km at 6%) needs to be conquered four times. The climb's summit is posted at 700 meter from the finish line. Day two is more or less a copy from day one, except that the finish line now is situated after the descent of the Côte de la Chappelle St. Thomas. Then, in the penultimate stage, we see two category one climbs in the first part of the stage. These longer climbs are then exchanged for the short and steep climbs in the late final. The closing stage looks on paper not too difficult, but will this be the case after four days of tough race kilometers? Leopard Pro Cycling is ready to go for top results again. Konrad Gessner is one of the very motivated riders.
Konrad Gessner: "Saturday was a wet and windy race. I think we did a good job, we were in the front of the peloton and were able to do our part when the echelons were formed. After about 80 kilometers we were a little bit too far back and we missed the decisive split. We wanted to catch them back, but it was very difficult. With 60 kilometers to go, Mario and Alex attacked, but were unfortunately not able to close the 30 seconds gap to the front. We hope for better luck next time, for example in the Rhone Alpes Isère Tour. I think it will be a nice race and we have again a strong line-up. I feel better and better after I was sick and I had problems with my knee, so hopefully I am able to go for a good result for myself or for the team."
Rhone Alpes Isère Tour (2.2)
09.05 - Charvieu-Chavagneux - Villefontaine | 146,6 km
10.05 - Aéroport St. Exupéry - Saint-Perre de Chandieu | 150,2 km
11.05 - Montany - St. Maurice l'Exil | 172,4 km
12.05 - St. Maurice l'Exil - Charvieu-Chavagneux | 172,0 km