Cees Bol takes second in the day and moves to third in GC
After yesterday’s opening day, it was the turn of the second of Circuit des Ardennes that featured a total of eight categorized climbs. The team was down to four riders in today’s start as the 19-year old Greek talent George Stavrakakis could not finish the first stage due to a crash. The stage started with several attempts to make it to the breakaway but it took around 20 km before the peloton allowed two riders to get a considerable time gap. 

Our riders did not get involved in the first attacks of the day and they stayed in the bunch saving energy for the final end of the course. The leading duo was allowed close to five minutes before the main group picked up the pace and reduced the difference. The peloton was losing riders as they were hitting the slopes of the short steep climbs, but all four of riders kept our colors well-represented in the main group. They worked again as one unit in order to deliver Cees Bol in the best possible position before the final sprint, and after yesterday’s fourth place the strong Dutchman sprinted to second of the day and thanks to the bonus seconds he moved up to third on GC ten seconds shy from the race lead. All of our riders rolled in the main group, with Ide Schelling standing in third in the Best Young Rider Classification in the same time as the white jersey wearer ahead of tomorrow’s double stage. 

Meanwhile, five Academy riders raced today in the U23 version of cycling’s monument Ronde van Vlaanderen. First year U23, Daan Hoole, showed himself and was in the mix in the hardest part of the day. After the race arrived to famous Oude Kwaremont and the Pateberg climbs the young Dutchman kept up with the best of the race and stayed in the front group before he suffered some mechanical problems.  

Cees Bol, second today in Circuit des Ardennes: 
“Our tactics for today were not to get involved in the early moves as we had to offset the fact that unfortunately we were starting with four riders. All of us went through the climbs really well and that helped me a lot as they could put me in position for the final sprint. In the final kilometers we had headwind, so I tried to went from the back and it worked really well but I was just too late for the win. I have been doing good in the sprints so I hope that tomorrow we also finish in a big group so I can take advantage of that”.