It was a tough 8-day run at the Giro d’Italia U23 and the closing stage was just no different. It presented a very tough parcour with start and finish in Aprica, but the bunch had to tackle the mythical and infamous Mortirolo. The race was onto a fast start, and a group of three riders made it up the road, with the bunch allowing them close to a minute before picking up the pace, with Harrison Wood and Daan Hoole staying it for a long run. As the main pack hit the hard slopes of the Mortirolo, the group started to fall apart and broke into small groups. 

In one of the descents our David Dekker, crashed and was forced out of the race. After being taken to the hospital for further examination David is on his way back to the Netherlands, without any major injuries. However, the talented Dutchman will use some weeks to recover and come back to full form before resuming his racing program.  

After Hoole and Wood dropped out of the main group, they took it easy all the way to the line wrapping up our participation with a stage win, and two other close calls, but mainly a sense of having taken another step in the development of our talents. 

Next up for the Academy will be Heitse Pijl and Antwerp Port Epic coming Saturday and Sunday. 

Aike Visbeek, Academy Director and DS for the race recaps on the Giro d’Italia U23: 
“It was a really tough mountain stage and we were in a good position with Daan and Harrison, but everything became overshadowed by David’s crash in the most technical descent of the race. Today is was good to see Harrison doing a very solid ride, after overcoming sickness in the first couple of days and then working in the front for the team’s interest. Overall, we can be proud of what we have achieved here, we had a lot of ups and downs, we could not do anything on GC because two of our hopes went out already on day one, but the team pulled back together in a very good way, and made it a good one for their development”