At the 16th of April, Leopard Pro Cycling's Jan Maas underwent surgery as his left leg caused him problems for many years. After a long and tough recovery, the Dutch rider showed his strenghts again at the Tour Alsace and finished the race in eleventh position.
The Tour Alsace started with a short prologue, in which Maas lost sixteen secons to the competitors, which was to be overseen. With difficult stages coming up, nothing was lost or won yet. Everyone came through the second stage safely which was a relatively easy one with a bunch sprint in the streets of Sélestat. The race really started with the stage to La Planche des Belles Filles on Friday. Only a few weeks after the Tour de France peloton rode on the same roads, Jan Maas was able to mix in with the best climbers in the peloton, finishing as eighth on the day. As Maas moved up in the overall rankings, a top result was for the taking. On the penultimate day up the slopes of Lac Blanc, the 23-year-old was part of the right moves, but unfortunately blew himself up in the final kilometers. In the final stage to Dannemarie, Maas was not able to take one second bonus which would have taken him into the top ten of the GC. All in all, position eleven is - seen the situation Maas has been in the past months - a very welcome and well-deserved result.
Jan Maas: "I did not expect to be up there with the best already, since it has only been four months since my surgery. It was great to see that my team mates were all determined to fight for me and put me in the best possible positions. This really motivated me to give it my all as well, unfortunately I blew up in the stage to Lac Blanc. I can happily look back on my eleventh position in the GC and I want to thank all my team mates and the staff for their trust and support."
Markus Zingen, Sports Director: "We can be really happy with Jan's comeback. Unfortunately he missed the top ten by only one second. We tried to improve his overall position, but also due to a crash in which Jan was involved, it was not possible anymore. All in all, we can be satisfied after this race. The team worked really well for Jan and of course we missed Alexander for a good stage result, since he left the race after not feeling well in the third stage."
GC Tour Alsace (2.HC)
11. Jan Maas (NED) + 1'01"
30. Jack Burke (CAN) + 5'33"
47. Arthur Kluckers (LUX) + 9'18"
57. Filip Maciejuk (POL) + 12'05"
71. Pit Leyder (LUX) + 17'27"
DNF (S03). Alexander Krieger (GER)