Engelhardt sprints to first professional win at Per Semper Alfredo – Team Jayco Alula

German neo-pro Felix Engelhardt sprinted to his debut pro win with an impressive turnaround in speed Per Semper Alfredo one day race.

The 20-year-old rounded off a strong performance from a small but mighty one Team Jayco AlUla Kader, driving clear, took the win in a reduced pile for the line.

Despite losing teammates Lawson Craddock to a crash and Rudy Porter After suffering a premature puncture, the reigning European Under-23 Champion showed his maturity on the final lap as he positioned himself well and followed the dangerous moves up the final climb.

En route to the final, Engelhardt chose his bike wisely as the sprint approached before launching his kick early and surprising his rivals. The youngster proved to be the strongest in the sprint as he rode to his first pro win and fifth win of the season for Team Jayco AlUla’s men’s team.

Felix Engelhardt:
“It’s always a great opportunity for us youngsters to do these ‘smaller races’ and the guys did a great job of keeping me out of all sorts of trouble before the small laps, we were always really well positioned for the crucial ones rise and have worked very well together.

Unfortunately Lawson crashed on the first lap on the downhill and on the second lap Rudy had a puncture after being in the lead so I was alone for the final. I felt really good on the last climb, I was able to master the moves, but then I had to gamble a bit on the last few kilometers.

Some teams had more riders and were obviously trying to attack, but it was very difficult conditions with the rain starting, it was super slippery and there were a lot of crashes so it was a bit chaotic. I followed Bardiani’s train and they timed it perfectly, I even went a bit early but I think everyone left too early because in the last 50 meters everyone just sat down and grinded to the finish.

In the end I still had very good legs and it’s great to win here. I’m very grateful to the team and the boys for the opportunity today and I hope it’s a good start for Coppi e Bartali.”

David McPartland (Sporting Director):
“We started the day with the plan of having Felix as our leader and we wanted to set him up for a result today. He had a good start to the season in his first year with us and is already at a good level, we can see that from the races he’s driven so far, so he deserves a leadership opportunity today.

He did a fantastic job in the finals, he was in a group of 25-30 guys sprinting for the win and he positioned himself really well and then finished the job perfectly with a super sprint.

We knew he was fast and climbing well, he was one of the first riders to go over the top of the climb so it just shows the condition he has. It was good to give him a win and good for the team, morale is really high now and we go into Coppi e Bartali with a positive and confident mood.”

2023 Per Semper Alfredo – Results:
1. Felix Engelhardt (Team Jayco AlUla) 4:31:03
2. Mark Stewart ST
3. Anders Foldager ST

Photo: sprint cycling


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