Leopard Pro Cycling looks back to a solid performance at the Circuit des Ardennes. After some bad luck in the first stage, the performances in the remaining stages were satisfying. After many altitude meters throughout the race, Leopard's Szymon Rekita adds another great result to his 2019 account by finishing seventh overall.
There was no easy start to the Circuit des Ardennes. Already on the first day on Friday, the race hit many difficult climbs which asked a lot from the riders. However, the team showed that the shape is good by being well-positioned in the front during crucial moments. Day one was marked by a nasty crash of young gun Bas van Belle, fortunately without any real damage. In the sprint, Alexander Krieger tried to make an impact, but was not able to come closer than position fifteen.
The race continued with a cold second stage to Monthermé, where the overall classification was mixed up for the first time. Leopard's Szymon Rekita and Jack Burke were part of the first chasing group at just a few seconds from the stage winner, which opened up chances for a good overall position. As a result, Rekita became best Ardennes rider and awarded another leaders jersey as he has been doing the past races.
The final day had two stages and the tactic was clear: go all in with Rekita. In the morning, the team wanted to enter the final decisive climb with both Rekita and Burke in front and Krieger and Maas delivered them amazingly. Rekita was able to show that he is one of the strongest uphill riders in the peloton. Only the race leader and the early breakaway finished in front of him. He then started the afternoon stage as seventh overall and Leopard wanted to ride offensive once again. Rekita enjoyed full support by all teammated, but despite trying to attack several times, the pack stayed together. In the following bunch sprint, Krieger could take another top ten finish.
Jan Brockhoff: "I really was happy to see that the riders realized the importance of the race and were able to follow the tactics almost to perfection. Already in the first stage, we showed that we were one of the strongest teams which we could combine with real team spirit. In the end, we go home with a good sevent place in the GC for Szymon Rekita. I think it's a well-deserved one and I already look forward to the next races."
GC Circuit des Ardennes (UCI 2.2)
7. Szymon Rekita (POL) + 0'26"
21. Jack Burke (CAN) + 0'43"
37. Alexander Krieger (GER) + 3'19"
40. Jan Maas (NED) + 4'22"