Roster GP Cerami: Colin Heiderscheid, Alexander Krieger, Misch Leyder, Pit Leyder, Jan Maas, Gaëtan Pons & Mario Spengler - DS: Gregor Willwohl
Roster GP Pérenchies: Konrad Gessner, Colin Heiderscheid, Alexander Krieger, Filip Maciejuk, Gaëtan Pons, Mario Spengler & Bas Van Belle - DS: Gregor Willwohl
Almost one month after the last races, Leopard Pro Cycling heads into the second part of the season, starting in tomorrow's GP Cerami. Afterwards, the team heads towards France for the GP Pérenchies which will take place next Sunday.
The GP Cerami has the right to call itself a real classic race. In the past, riders such as Merckx, Hinault, Zoetemelk, Bartoli and Gilbert already crowned themselves victorious. This race in the French speaking part of Belgium looks on paper no too difficult, with 209 relatively flat kilometers. With just one cobbled section after 56 kilometers of racing and three local laps, a bunch sprint is to be expected, but the GP Cerami doesn't always turn out this way. The riders have to be very attentive and react to or create different race situations caused by three World Tour and many strong (Pro) Continental teams.
Sunday's race, the GP Pérenchies is all in all comparable. Although the race is one step lower on the UCI calendar (UCI 1.2), and fourty kilometers shorter, this does not mean that things will get easier. The riders start with six local laps around Pérenchies, followed by another six local laps of 15 kilometers each with a 1200 meters long cobblestone road in it. In the end, 163,2 kilometers will be ridden in this race that often ends in an uphill bunch sprint finish. In recent years, Leopard's Alexander Krieger finished in sixth and two times fourth. Last year, Gaëtan Pons was also up there in position thirteen.
Gaëtan Pons: "Although I was a bit disappointed with my first half of the season, I was also proud to help the team in important moments. It made me happy that I was able to be there for them when they needed me and that I could help them by taking the right decisions thanks to my experience. After my wedding earlier this month, I went to Livigno in Italy for an altitude training camp. After some days of hard work, I feel in good shape for the next events like tomorrow's GP Cerami, where I performed quite well the last two years. I want to be more offensive to get a chance to finish in a smaller group and get a nice result with my sprint. This will be also the case in Pérenchies where we will go with a very strong team. My next main goal will be Czech Cycling Tour where there are two good stages for me. I built shape and faith the last two weeks, so I want to take the chances to show myself, starting at Cerami and Pérenchies."
GP Cerami (UCI 1.1)
25.07 | Saint-Ghislain - Frameries | 209 km
GP de Pérenchies (UCI 1.2)
28.07 | Pérenchies - Pérenchies | 163,2 km