About five demanding days of stage racing in a surprisingly beautiful country - racing the Flèche du Sud (UCI 2.2) in Luxembourg. #embracetheworldcycling
More than 9.000 meter of climbing and 662 kilometer distance within five days, sounds doable, but everything changes when you're racing shoulder to shoulder with names like Thibau Nys, Lars Van Der Haar and Laurens Sweeck!
We decided to bring Anton Benedix, Marcel Peschges, Heiko Homrighausen, Fred Dombrowski, Peter Schermann and Hermann Keller to the line. With Micha Glowatzki (directeur sportif) and Ingo Krah (Mechanic) in the car, we arrived on Wednesday evening for the first stage from Kayl to Kayl.
The first two stages were demanding and fast, but not impossible. We managed to bring Heiko into a promising position of the general classification, sitting with the same time as the leader after stage two finishing in Rumelange.
Pace shifted on the very selective third stage taking place up north of the country in Bourscheid. After 126 km with 2.670 meters uphill on that day, there was a huge split in the GC. The stage started with cold rain and winds, some teams took advantage of the miserable conditions and set up a very high pace to exhaust any of the strong climbers before the final kilometers which were all uphill.
We tried everything on that day to keep Heiko in the mix and out of trouble, but we paid a high price. Marcel, Fred and Hermann had to abandon the race within the stage, but Heiko only finished 1:25 minute down to the stage winner Thibau Nys.
The following and last two stages looked way more doable, but only on paper. The speed was still high and the Teams in the mix for the GC weren't satisfied yet, as the split wasn't big enough. Heiko made his way into the Top 20 after the third stage and we tried everything to maintain or improve this position.
With two flat-ish loops at the very end of the upcoming stages we expected the speed to be high in the first 2/3 of the stage, Heiko positioned himself smart enough to always be close to the front in decisive moments, not without a little help by Anton and Peter.
With arriving in Esch-Sur-Alzette on Sunday at the end of stage five, we got rewarded with a fantastic P18 in the general classification by Heiko Homrighausen. The whole team did an amazing job! Thanks to everyone involved and your attention!
Bags are already packed and we're on our way to Poland for the Tour of Malopolska. Follow all of our adventures on Instagram!
Photos and write up: Stefan Brencher (@stfn_image)