Giro d’Italia U23 – Stage 1
Today’s 150 km stage with start and finish in Urbino featured the opening stage of the Giro d’Italia U23. The stage consisted of a 39 km long local lap that the riders tackled four times, and each lap contained a third category climb. The start was nervous and fast with riders trying to make it up to the breakaway, such a stressful start caused crashes in the back of the peloton and our Stan van Tricht was caught it in. Despite jumping back on the bike and making it back to the group, our Belgian talent eventually stopped and was brought to the hospital with a cut in his knee. 

Giro d’Italia U23 – Stage 1
Today’s 150 km stage with start and finish in Urbino featured the opening stage of the Giro d’Italia U23. The stage consisted of a 39 km long local lap that the riders tackled four times, and each lap contained a third category climb. The start was nervous and fast with riders trying to make it up to the breakaway, such a stressful start caused crashes in the back of the peloton and our Stan van Tricht was caught it in. Despite jumping back on the bike and making it back to the group, our Belgian talent eventually stopped and was brought to the hospital with a cut in his knee. 

The breakaway group had a total of 23 riders featuring our Daan Hoole, and halfway into the race it the gap was still going up to the bunch and chasers. As the third time up the climb approached, Hoole attacked but the lack of collaboration did not allow him to create a big gap to the chaser. As they hit the last climb, Hoole went solo but the main group caught him just before the top and then lost contact with the head of the breakaway, and sprinted for the day’s glory. 

Daan Hoole, was in the break today and went for the win: 
“I got into the break of the day and with 30 km to go I played my cards for the win. I attacked and went away with another rider, but he was quite tired so he could not pull hard turns to make the gap bigger. Once we hit the sloped of the last climb I went solo but just before the top I was caught by the GC favorites and I paid the early effort. It was a hard day for the team with all that happened, but we will keep on fighting”. 

Druivenkoers – Overijssel
After solid training period, the Druivenkoers – Overijssel (1.1) provided the chance of having almost all our squad racing on the same day. With start and finish in Overijssel it was a fast day for the bunch as a group of five riders went up the road and quickly were allowed a large gap that went over four minutes. Our riders kept it safe in the bunch as say saved energy before the crucial part of the race. 

The peloton picked up the pace and the gap started to go down quickly and as the main group went into the last kilometers, some attacks started to happen with Maikel (Zijlaard) and Milan (Paulus) representing the Academy flag in the big group. Eventually it was a solo rider who took the win, with both our talents crossing the line slightly back as they lost their front position to the lead out trains in the last two kilometres. 

Dries Hollanders, Academy DS: 
“Our game plan was to be patient as we did not have the numbers, so we wanted to stay in the bunch and save energy to be there in the final. The riders did a great job and especially Maikel Zijlaard and Milan Paulus, who stayed with the big bunch all the way. For Milan as a first year U23, and for Maikel as a confirmation of his good shape, it was a really positive result and a big learning experience for all of them”.