Cees Bol, class of 1995, Noord-Holland’s Best.
What about him?
Bol was recruited by the Academy ahead of 2017 after winning the overall classification of the Olympia’s Tour. The 22-year old joined the Academy with the goal of getting ready to make the next step and move up to the pro ranks.
How did he perform?
Days before his debut in the 2017 season, Bol fainted at home and suffered a head concussion which obliged him to sit out for most of the season. In agreement with the Academy doctors, Bol did not come back to the racing until he was at 100% of his condition. After a lot of work, physical and mentally wise, Cees came back to competition in September of that very same year, but the process he underwent made him nothing but stronger.
Bol started 2018 back at his best and seized the win in the opening kermesse of the season, Wanzele Koerse, as well as in Flèche Ardennaise and the fifth stage of the Tour de Bretagne. The strong Dutch rider showed himself against the professional riders and proved his talent and consistency with 10 podiums and 19 Top 10 in his first 26 days of racing, which brought him to the top of the Napoleon Games Cup for several weeks.
What was next after the Academy?
After his impressive 2018, it was clear that there was a lot of interest in Cees in the market, but it was Team Sunweb the one who offered the right environment and guidance in order to let him grow as a bike rider. The Dutch WorldTour squad signed the talented rider for two years, starting with a traineeship at the end of 2018, where Cees was able to hit the ground running and show that he has the level to be successful in the WorldTour as a trusted lead-out man, with a fast finish and aim on the classics. In his first full season with Team Sunweb, Cees showed his level early on and beat the most fast sprinters in the world as he took wins in Nokere Koerse, Tour of California and Tour of Norway. The fast adaptation together with the high-level he showed from the first moment he became part of the Dutch squad earned Bol the selection for the 2019 Tour de France, becoming the first-ever Academy Alumni to make it to the start line of the biggest race in the world. He was close to the win in the bunch sprints, but he kept on working to develop his top speed and that became clear when thanks to a superb sprint at Paris Nice he clinched a stage win showing off a big superiority!