After a long pre-season, today’s Ster van Zwolle marked our debut in the 2020 season. A totally flat parcour and several local laps awaited the riders, who were joined by rain and strong wind from start to finish. It was hectic start as several attacks happened in the first part of the race, but none of the made it up the road. However, it was not an easy kick off for us as Sven Burger and Daan Hoole were involved in a crash, which forced Burger to immediately abandon the race, while Hoole jumped back on the bike but stopped shortly after as well. Also, Wessel Krul was forced to retire from the race due to stomach problems.
The race broke into several groups 80 km in, with our David Dekker, Jordi Meeus and Maikel Zijlaard making it into the leading 24-rider one. Slowly the leading group was losing units, and with 20 km left in the day it was down to 10 riders, including the current U23 Dutch RR Champion. Dekker played it smart in the closing part, and went up the road with four other riders with a little over than 10 km to go.
The gap seemed big enough so the five leaders could sprint for the win, but just two kilometers away from the line a group of four riders, including Jordi Meeus, joined the leading 5. The Belgian sprinter played the perfect teammate role and set up Dekker for the sprint. The Dutch rider dominated the final rush to the line and seized the first win of the team in 2020. Meeus rolled in fourth, wrapping up a dominant Academy performance.
This victory marks our first win in our brand new Dare Disc Break bikes, that were mounted with tubeless Schwalbe tyres.
Academy Director and DS, Aike Visbeek on today’s win:
This was an epic race with a difficult start as we lost early in the race Daan (Hoole) and Sven (Burger) due to a crash. But the team bounced back and with three riders in the front group we could still follow our plan. David (Dekker) was our leader today and he delivered. But the good performances of Jordi (Meeus) and Maikel (Zijlaard) show that our Performance Staff has done a great job as until the crash we had 6 riders in the first group! We are ready for the next races and we hope that also Daan and Sven are back with us there”