As the 2019 season is approaching quickly, Leopard Pro Cycling is delighted to add another two young prospects to the roster for next year's campaign. Coming from the junior ranks, both Arthur Kluckers and Bas Van Belle will make their debut in the U23 category.
Leopard Pro Cycling offers opportunity to further develop
By signing Arthur Kluckers (18), Leopard Pro Cycling has again made sure that a young Luxembourgish talent will have maximum possibilities to develop himself both on and off the bike. Kluckers is a complete rider who had some impressive results in the junior ranks. At the GP Ruebliland in Switzerland, Kluckers finished 7th in the GC mostly thanks to his strong time trial. This year he prolonged his title as Luxembourgish time trial champion, he also became the Luxembourgish MTB champion whereas he finished second in the road race. Another notable result is his silver medal at the Youth Olympic Games and his strong performances at the Ronde des Vallées, GP Général Patton and the Tour du Pays de Vaud. All in all a rider to look out, however at Leopard, Kluckers will get time to adapt to the U23 level.
Arthur Kluckers: "I am very excited to make my debut as an U23 rider. Starting in a new category is always a bit of an unknown because one doesn’t know how the body will react to the distance, but the preparations are well underway. I am looking forward to race with the older guys and next year I want to adapt to the new category as much as possible and help the team, besides finishing school. This is one of the reasons I chose for Leopard Pro Cycling, as the team offers you the opportunity to develop as a young rider and mostly learn from the more experienced riders. I can't wait to race."
Dutch rider Bas van Belle (18) joins Leopard from Belgian based Soenens Booom Cycling Team. Van Belle is a rider who likes to attack and who excells in the more difficult, selective races preferably with some altitude meters in it. It's therefore logical that he has been able to perform well in races such as Nokere Koerse, Ghent-Wevelgem and Ronde des Vallées. As a first year junior, he finished already sixth in the GC of the latter and almost took the win in the youth classification, before performing well in the Dutch national championships, where he finished fourth. This season, Van Belle was part of the Dutch national team, but also had some bad luck with a concussion after a nasty crash. Van Belle fought back and almost took the mountains jersey at the Ronde des Vallées after already finishing eighth overall. As Van Belle was crowned the most consitent rider in Dutch climbing races, he was also part of the national team that raced the World Championships in Innsbruck. At Leopard, Van Belle hopes to become a stronger rider.
Bas van Belle: "I am happy to have signed for Leopard Pro Cycling, because I was looking for a team with an international race calendar, professional guidance and experience. At this team I know that I can develop well and that I get opportunities to prove myself on the Continental level. I don't expect results immediately, as it will probably be a difficult learning year for me in terms of race scenarios and tactics. Next year I want to improve as a rider and further develop my time trial and climbing abilities."
Markus Zingen, Team Manager: "It's not a secret that we like to give young talents a chance to prove themselves at Leopard Pro Cycling. We have the knowhow and experience to guide young guys at a comfortable pace, which will also be the case for Arthur and Bas. Of course they have great possibilities, but for 2019 it is mostly important to gain experience and adapt well to the U23 level. We don't expect results, altough both guys are of course allowed to surprise us. I am looking forward to working with both guys and I am convinced that their personalities will fit well in our roster."
Leopard Pro Cycling 2019*
GER - Konrad Gessner
LUX - Colin Heiderscheid
LUX - Arthur Kluckers
GER - Alexander Krieger
LUX - Misch Leyder
LUX - Pit Leyder
POL - Filip Maciejuk
LUX - Gaëtan Pons
POL - Szymon Rekita
LUX - Pit Schlechter
SUI - Mario Spengler
NED - Bas Van Belle
* Two new riders will be announced later