This weekend, Leopard Pro Cycling heads to The Netherlands to race the Slag om Norg. Despite being a young UCI 1.1 race, the comparison with Strade Bianche is often made. No less than 30 of the 190 kilometers will be ridden on gravel roads.
Roster: Jan Brockhoff, Gaëtan Pons, Charlie Quarterman, Jens Reynders, Pit Schlechter & Mario Spengler - DS: Markus Zingen
At noon, the sixth edition of Slag om Norg will have its start. The first part of the race is not that difficult, but once the race hits kilometer 65, the first gravel sections show up which will probably already make life hard for some riders. As the race continues throughout the province of Drenthe, the race quickly come back to Norg for five local laps of 16,5 kilometers each, which have again quite a few gravel roads in it. The tough course combined with the Dutch road furniture, the expected rainfall and mechanicals and the presence of three UCI Pro Continental Teams that love this classic type of races will make for a tough day at the office.
It is the second time that Leopard Pro Cycling is present at the startline in Norg. In 2016, Alexander Krieger - now representing the German National Team at the 2018 UEC Road Elite European Championships - finished the race in 24th, one place behind his current team mate Gaëtan Pons, who was back then riding for Wallonie-Bruxelles. This year around, Leopard brings again a strong team to the start with lots of possibilities and different cards to play. One of those cards is the one of Swiss rider Mario Spengler.
Mario Spengler "I expect a really hard race with possibly lots of problems and mechanicals for the riders. This will for sure lead to small groups all over the place and I hope that we have the luck on our side. For myself, it is a big chance to do a good race. Of course the race is flat and I already did a few races in this area, so I know what to expect. The roads will be narrow, but I really like that. I am also looking forward to the gravel roads. In the last years, I always took part in some cyclocross races, so I know how to handle my bike. My shape is going back up again towards the Deutschland Tour and I am looking forward to fight to make something happen this weekend."