Cees Bol takes second in the opening day in Normandie
Tour de Normandie features our first stage race of the season, and we kicked it off with a strong performance. Today’s 150 km stage opened up the 38th edition of the race with a fast and difficult stage, that would be decided in the final local circuit that the peloton tackled a total of five times. The hilly first part of the stage allowed the break to get a gap, and after some counter attacks in the main group it was finally a group of four riders the ones that formed the breakaway of the day. 

The peloton allowed the front group up to eight minutes before they started to bring back the breakaway. The bunch entered into the second-to-last lap in one piece, and with 25 km to go it was our Cees Bol the one who started the eventual winning and went away alongside three other riders. The good cooperation kept a safe distance to the peloton, and at the end they ended up sprinting for the victory with our Dutchman rolling in second place. In the group behind our Jordi Meeus sprinted to 15th in the day after overcoming some mechanical problems in the late part of the stage. 

Thanks to today’s strong performance, Cees Bol now sits second in the overall classification four seconds shy from the race lead and eleven seconds ahead of most of GC contenders. Tomorrow the day riders will face a 153 km long stage finishing in a final local circuit that they will tackle twice. Our riders are more than ready to show themselves again. 

Cees Bol, second in the stage: 
“We knew from the beginning that with the headwind all day long it was just a matter of waiting for a strong move at the end. When I attacked I got four riders with me, but eventually one was dropped and we were down to four all the way to the line. We got to the last kilometer with around 20 seconds so we knew that we would sprint for the win. I was feeling good and I sat in the third wheel but with 250 m to go they started to sprint. Fabian Lienhard was really strong and I could not overcome him, but I am happy with how the day went and my overall performance. In a race like this where there are no long mountain top finishes or time trials, it is really important to fight for each second and today we got eleven. We are in a really good position as a team, and we will take advantage of that in the coming days”.