ŠKODA Tour de Luxembourg and Liège-Bastogne-Liège U23 round-up

In the ŠKODA Tour de Luxembourg's strong field, Jan Maas claimed a top 20 GC spot. At LBL U23, the Leopard-riders were not able to play a major role.

The ŠKODA Tour de Luxembourg summarized
We can all agree that the ŠKODA Tour de Luxembourg was one of the toughest ones since years, because of both the quality of the peloton and the profile of the stages. Already in the first stage a considerably thinned out group approached the finish line,  with João Almeida winning the stage and as hoped with Leopard's GC-contender Jan Maas as part of it. On the second day, the boys were truly seperated from the men, with many smaller groups or individuals reaching the finish in Eschdorf. After a real battle, Jan Maas lost just over one minute to stage winner Marc Hirschi, placing the Dutchman in 24th overall.

Stage three was a fairly 'easy' one, which ended in a bunch sprint. Coming into the final kilometer, Leopard's Tim Torn Teutenberg was really well-placed, but got blocked in just as he was about to launch his sprint: 18th. One day later, a 25 kilometer time trial was on the menu, with Miguel Heidemann as first Leopard-finisher in position 25. Jan Maas was able to keep his disadvantage acceptable and even moved up to the 21st GC position with one difficult stage to go.

In an ultimate battle in the streets of Luxembourg City, the 25-year-old was able to stay in contention for a long time and crossed the line not long after stage winner David Gaudu. It meant that he again won a spot in the overall results and so he ended the ŠKODA Tour de Luxembourg in twentieth. With 13 WorldTour-riders ahead of him, this results really counts in a season in which Maas showed already many times his potential and consistency.

Result ŠKODA Tour de Luxembourg (UCI 2.Pro)
1. João Almeida (POR) - Deceuninck-Quick Step
20. Jan Maas (NED) + 4'01"
78. Jarno Mobach (NED) + 30'54"
91. Miguel Heidemann (GER) + 39'26"
92. Cedric Pries (LUX) + 39'57"
DNF. Tim Torn Teutenberg (GER) - Stage 5
DNS. Arthur Kluckers (LUX) - Stage 5

Liège-Bastogne-Liège U23 summarized
After a hectic and fast start to the race - the pack covered 47 kilometers in the first hour - a break of eight riders went clear. Unfortunately, the Leopard Pro Cycling guys were not part of this move. When the two local laps around Bastogne were done and dusted, the race was still to be ridden, as climbs such as the Côte de Houffalize, the Côte de Wanne, the Côte du Rosier and the Côte de La Redoute were waiting in the distance. It was in this period of the race were many guys were dropped from the pack, but all Leopard riders were still present in the main group. At 20 kilometers from the line, the Côte de la Redoute turned out to be one hill too far as only Loïc Bettendorff survived in the front of the race. In the end two riders of the early break stayed clear of the peloton which sprinted for third place. Unfortunately Loïc had nothing left in the tank and crossed the line at La Redoute as part of the peloton in a respectable 27th place.

Result Liège-Bastogne-Liège U23 (UCI 1.2U)
1. Leo Hayter (GBR) - Development Team DSM
27. Loïc Bettendorff (LUX) + 0'33"
48. Tom Paquet (LUX) + 1'35"
61. Louis Coqueret (FRA) + 1'49"
68. Mats Wenzel (LUX) + 2'07"
88. Filip Maciejuk (POL) + 4'31"
DNF. Edvin Lovidius (SWE)

Next races?
20-26.09 | Le Tour de Bretagne Cycliste | France | UCI 2.2
03.10 | Sparkassen Münsterland Giro | Germany | UCI 1.Pro

Photographers
(c) sportfotos.lu & Anouk Flesch

Markus Zingen, Team Manager

"We can look back to a very well organized ŠKODA Tour de Luxembourg with tough opposition for our riders. As only Continental Team at the start and the top tier riders around us, we needed to stay realistic with our goals. After these five days we can be happy with the performance. Of course a top ten stage result would have been an additional good results, but we saw that it was sometimes not missing much. All in all, we maybe did not have the top results on home soil like we had in previous years, but when we take the much higher level into account, we for sure can be satisfied."

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