The Leopard Development Team will continue as a UCI Continental team in 2014, according to Leopard SA.
The team will compete mainly in European UCI events, racing primarily in Luxembourg, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. As in the past two years, the roster will be a blend of young riders moving up from the junior ranks and experienced athletes.
Six of the team’s 12 riders are Luxembourg nationals. Half of the team will be under-23. The team will collaborate with the national federation.
“We want to stay true to the mission of a development team: offer opportunities to young cyclists to develop as athletes in a professional environment and to prepare them for a potential career in the UCI WorldTour,” said manager Markus Zingen via press release. “We will be able to offer them a balanced race program and a good team spirit.”
Five riders return for 2014 — Piero Baffi, Alex Kirsch, Pit Schlechter, Tom Thill and Joël Zangerle — alongside newcomers Marco König, the 2013 junior German road and cyclocross champion; Matthias Plarre, overall winner of the 2013 Bundesliga; Massimo Morabito, U-23 Luxembourg cyclocross champ; sprinter and track racer Kevin Feiereisen; sprinter and all-rounder Dennis Coenen; climber Patrick Olesen; and Florian Salzinger, who will also serve as a directeur sportif alongside Zingen and former Luxembourg champion Tom Flammang.
Leopard Development Team for 2014
Piero Baffi (ITA)
Dennis Coenen (BEL)
Kevin Feiereisen (LUX)
Alex Kirsch (LUX)
Marco König (GER)
Matthias Plarre (GER)
Massimo Morabito (LUX)
Patrick Olesen (DEN)
Florian Salzinger (GER)
Pit Schlechter (LUX)
Tom Thill (LUX)
Joël Zangerle (LUX)