Arno Wallaard Memorial featured our only races this weekend, ahead of next week’s Tour de Bretagne. The 184 km long course, was divided into two big loops before the peloton entered the final local circuit that was tackled a total of five times. The race was off to a fast start with a lot of attempts to distance the main group and form the breakaway of the day, but none of those moved stuck. It wasn’t until 70 km were left in the day that our 18-year Thymen Arensman jumped off the bunch with two other riders joining him later on.
The young Dutchman remained in front of the race until only 40 km of the race were left when a group of around 25 riders joined the three leaders. Apart from Arensman, it was Bol and Kooistra the ones who made the cut, and the Academy colors rapidly moved to the head of the group in order to make the gap bigger. With the main group getting closer to the head of the race our Cees Bol tried his luck and attacked from the leading group, it was the second of his moves the one that distanced the chasers with 30 km to the line. The good cooperation of the four members of the break led to a growing gap, with a fifth rider joining them with 5 km remaining. Despite the strong pace and the numerous counterattacks, the main group could not stop the five leaders to play for the day’s glory in a reduced sprint. Cees Bol took second in a very close finale that required of the photo finish technology to declare a race winner.
The 22-year old Dutchman adds another high placement to his already impressive 2018 results charts that include achievements such as finishing second overall in the Circuit des Ardennes and winning the Wanzeel Koerse. The team will be back in action next Wednesday in the Tour de Bretagne, were a tough week of racing await the riders against a really strong field. The condition is good and the morale is high, so we can expect nothing but the best from them!
Cees Bol has nine Top 10 under his belt after just two months of racing:
“The plan coming into the race was to make it a hard one from the end of the second lap, and we did so with the whole team riding in front and attacking a lot. When I attacked for the second time we did not get a big gap straight away, but all of us pushed hard and we eventually got enough time to sprint for the victory ourselves. I started to sprint coming out of the last corner, and it was too early so I ended up second. I can not be happy with today’s result as I feel that I was strong enough to win, but I am happy with how the legs are before Tour de Bretagne and that gives me a lot of confidence as well”.