Ide Schelling takes fourth in a superb team effort in LBL
One of the most important one-day races of our calendar was up today. With a total of 173,4 km and 9 côtes awaiting the riders the U23 version of cycling’s monument, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, was set to offer some exciting racing action. The sun was shining already at the start in Bastogne and joined the riders for a hard day on the bike. The race started with a really high pace with the bunch completing 46 km in the first hour of racing as many attempts to make it to the break took place. Our Julius van den Berg representing the Academy flag there, but no moves stayed clear of the bunch.

After more than 50 km and with the first côte behind, a group of 14 riders, including our first year U23 Thymen Arensman, broke clear of the main group and got a maximum gap close to two and a half minutes. Once the break was gone, the calm came back to the bunch but in the slopes of the infamous Côte de la Redoute the main group broke into pieces with a group of 15 riders, including Schelling and Williams going over the top with a small gap. Shortly after the steep climb one of the riders of the breakaway attacked and went to the front alone, meanwhile, our 18-year old Dutchman kept his position in the group he was in. The chasers organized themselves and kept the leader in a close distance before picking up the pace and getting into the last climb, placed seven kilometers to the line, with only nine members. 

The slopes of the Côte de la Rue Haute saw the eventual winning attack take place with two other riders who tried to chase him down. Behind, it was our Stevie Williams the one who gave it a go and attacked bringing two riders with him, with Ide Schelling joining the trio shortly after. Just before hitting the velodrome track the group driven by Schelling and Williams made contact with Thymen Arensman’s and the three of them got into the final kilometer of the day in a group of around 20 riders. Ide Schelling was the fastest of the group and finished his excellent effort with fourth overall with teammate Stevie Williams rolling in ninth. Thymen Arensman wrapped up a really strong first time in La Doyenne, and got himself a Top 20 finish after spending the whole day in the front of the race. 

Ide Schelling, rode to fourth overall in his second participation in LBL U23: 
“The plan coming into the race was to be present in the breakaway, and Thymen (Arensman) did a great job and executed perfectly, that meant that the rest should be in the peloton and follow all the attacks. We wanted to wait and go flat out in the final climb and that’s what we did. We rode really hard the Côte de Saint-Nicolas, and we were around 15 riders in the top of it. In the last climb, Stevie (Williams) attacked and two guys went on his wheel, and I could manage to be there as well. We caught Thymen’s breakaway group with only a few kilometers to go, and that meant that I got into the velodrome in a bad position because we just made the connection. Hopefully, I could move up some positions in the track and sprint for fourth place. Being able to finish fourth in this race it is really special, and more after how we rode as a team. The six of us gave our 120%”.