With yesterday's GP Criquielion in the books, Leopard Pro Cycling is looking forward to the important weeks coming up. The team will take learnings from the Belgian race, as a huge mistake made that chances for a top results were very little.
Leopard started the race with the fact that the team has presented itself well in recent years with two top ten results. Right from the gun, the 164 riders immediately set a high pace. There were plenty of attacks, but it took a while before a front group took a solid lead. It was after 30 kilometers of racing that a group of nineteen went away, without a Leopard outfit represented. Since also Wanty Groupe Gobert was not involved, both teams reacted to their mistakes by quickly starting the chase. It turned out to be a very big fight, since the lead never really went over 40 seconds. When arriving at the second ascent of the difficult Denderoordberg, Leopard's Alexander Krieger and a few others tried to bridge the gap to the front. They succesfully did this and the race had now 27 riders in the first group. Since the 193 kilometers long race was a battle all day long and the riders in front not working together, the pack was able to eventually catch all attackers back. In the sprint that followed, Belgian Anne Marit was the fastest. For Leopard Pro Cycling, Gaëtan Pons sprinted to twelfth.
Gaëtan Pons: "Yesterday we missed a very important move, which is something we really need to improve on, as it's not the first time this season. We took our responsibility right away and started pulling in the front together with Wanty Groupe Gobert. After chasing for over 80 kilometers, we decided to give our all for Alexander. The second time we arrived at the bottom of the Denderoordberg, we came to 30 seconds. Then, Alexander jumped with a small group of riders and they bridged to the front. Since this group grew to big, the cooperation was gone and the peloton eventually came back. After all the hard work, I was the only Leopard rider left in the bunch. I felt good and attacked at the last cobbled climb and was in a good position to do the following sprint. I crossed the line in twelfth and it's for the moment my best result of the season. All in all, I was happy after the race, because I didn't think this result was possible if you look at the situation after 100 kilometers. It's good to see that when you keep on fighting, good things can happen. This result is a step towards a better shape. After a small rest period, I now feel fresh again and ready for the upcoming big event in Luxembourg."
GP Criquielion (1.2)
12. Gaëtan Pons (LUX) s.t.
34. Alexander Krieger (GER) s.t.
DNF. Mario Spengler, Pit Schlechter, Konrad Gessner, Pit Leyder, Bas van Belle