Double action day in Italy and Belgium
Today was yet another double action day for the Academy as we were in the eighth stage of the U23 Giro d’Italia as well as in Belgium’s Dwars door Het Hageland, the fifth round of the Napoleon Games Cup. After yesterday’s stage win, Stevie Williams started the day in third overall while thanks to his efforts in the previous races, Cees Bol was in the overall lead of the Napoleon Games Cup. 

In Italy the race was off to a hectic start, with different groups going on the attack from the flag drop. The first Maglia Rosa of the race, Edoardo Affini, represented the Academy colors in the move. The race was controlled until the peloton reached the bottom of the last climb, the Salita di Foza, that featured almost 14 km at a 6,7% average. Shortly after the favorites’ group hit the first slopes the attacks began, with three riders going clear and sprinting for the win. Our Stephen Williams rolled alongside Jan Maas in the Maglia Rosa group and now sits sixth overall, one minute and twenty seconds behind the race leader, ahead of tomorrow’s double sector. 

In Belgium, it was our Julius van den Berg the one who jumped into the early break of the day alongside 9 companions. The challenging parcour and the strong competition combined with some back luck in the crucial moments made it a hard day for our riders. The peloton picked up the pace a long way before the line and they joined the 10 attackers with more than 60 km left. The current U23 Dutch National Champion powered to 14th in the day after holding on in the main group in the final kilometers. Cees Bol could successfully defend the overall leadership of the competition with five rounds to go.