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Leopard Pro Cycling 2019 season review

The 2019 season is officially done and dusted. Leopard Pro Cycling, the Luxembourgish UCI Continental Team, was able to play an important role a whole year long with some notable highlights.

Especially the start of Leopard Pro Cycling’s season has been outstanding. After Misch Leyder officially started the season with the third place at the U23 Luxembourgish Cyclocross Championships, the team went to Mallorca for its annual team training camp. This camp was concluded with a local race, the Clásica dels Murs, where Leopard situated besides winner Szymon Rekita, five more riders in the top ten.

It was clear that the team was ready to have a blast in the upcoming UCI races, the first one being the Tour of Antalya. Here, Alexander Krieger took two top ten results, before Szymon Rekita won the mountain stage on the third day. The Polish climber moved up to the first position overall, which he - thanks to a great team effort - successfully defended.

Moving further to the end of March, for the Tour de Normandie, a tough French race in which Leopard’s Alexander Krieger took the second position in the general classification a year before. Krieger was again involved by finishing second, seventh and fourth in stages two, five and six. This led to another amazing overall result by taking position four overall. Behind him, Szymon Rekita - who placed many attacks throughout the race - claimed the sixth overall position.

April started with a solid seventeenth position for Polish youngster Filip Maciejuk at the Triptyque des Monts & Châteaux. One week later, it was his fellow countryman Szymon Rekita who was again able to take a top result back home. Rekita completed the Circuit des Ardennes as seventh, after two top ten finishes during the event. Whilst this happened, Pit Leyder rode the U23 Tour of Flanders as part of the Luxembourgish National Team. By sprinting to the fourth place, the oldest of the Leyder brothers was able to come back home with yet another world-class result. Not much later, Pit Leyder took another promising top ten result at the Eschborn-Frankfurt U23: seventh.

At the Tour du Jura, Leopard’s Canadian addition to the roster showed some of his capabilities by conquering the mountains really well. By finishing sixth in the difficult closing stage, Jack Burke was able to take the eighth position in the final results. Well-deserved after his climbing legs already helped Szymon Rekita win the Tour of Antalya earlier this year.

Prior to the main event of the year, the Tour de Luxembourg, the team performed well at races such as the Rhône-Alpes Isère Tour (three top ten results), the GP Criquielion (twelfth), the GP Marcel Kint (seventh) and the Flèche du Sud (two top ten results). Expectations for the Tour de Luxembourg were high, especially if you consider the top results of 2018. Again, Leopard Pro Cycling was able to mix in well with some of the top teams in world cycling as Alexander Krieger, Pit Leyder and Szymon Rekita gathered no less than five top ten results. The latter was also able to go along in the general classification battle, finishing the race as fifth best.

Alexander Krieger kicked off the second part of the 2019 campaign with a near win in The Netherlands as he missed the win at the Midden-Brabant Poort Omloop by only millimetres. At the national championships in countries such as Luxembourg, Poland, Canada and Switzerland, the Leopard riders obtained twelve top ten results, of which three were actual podium places.

In August and September, Leopard continued to show its colors. For example at the Tour Alsace, where the riders took on the same roads as the riders of the Tour de France had done. At La Planche des Belles Filles, the Dutchman Jan Maas crossed the line in eighth, as the climber finished the race in eleventh position. At the same time, Szymon Rekita was awarded for a great season by an invitation from the Polish National Team for the Tour de Pologne, a WorldTour race.

At the Czech Cycling Tour and the Giro della Regione Friuli Venezia Giulia the team showed great potential in the team time trial by setting respectively the eighth and second best time. In both cases, it was an ideal start to the race and the general classification ambitions of Jan Maas. The 23-year-old ended the races as thirteenth and sixth overall.

2019 was all in all a very satisfying season. Taking also the national races into account, Leopard Pro Cycling has ended the season with a total of 6 wins, 7 second places, 6 third places and 52 more top 10 results.