Today’s stage at Olympia’s Tour presented a flat 124 km long parcour with start and finish in Assen. Only 3 km into the race our riders took control of the bunch and keep an eye to all the moves since the very beginning. It wasn’t until the peloton had covered around 70 km that the eventual winning move was made, with 13 riders going up the road including Julius van den Berg, Marten Kooistra and Edo Affini.
The main GC contenders made the cut and the break started to make a significant gap, with ours being the only team with three riders in that group. In the final end of the course it was Marten Kooistra the one who took the responsibility of chasing down all the late attacks and with less than 3 km to go it was Julius van den Berg the one that decided to give it a go, but was caught when the group went under the flamme rouge. In the final sprint of the group, Marten Kooistra took third with Affini and Van den Berg coming into fourth and fifth, with the peloton finishing close to two minutes behind.
Thanks to the bonus seconds Marten Kooistra moves up to fourth overall and Julius van den Berg jumps to seventh. Meanwhile Edo Affini, who was third yesterday and fourth today keeps his third spot on GC safe just nine seconds down the race leader. With three guys within the first seven spots of the overall classification we lead the teams classification by more than a minute and a half over the closest rival. It’s a great reward to the aggressive riding that our guys did in these first two days.
Vasilis Anastopoulos, performance manager and DS for the race, highlights the commitment of the riders to the plan established before the stage:
“The guys followed the plan and that ended us being the only team who had 3 riders in the leading group of 13 fighting for the victory. Last kms marten covered a lot of attacks and then Julius attacked getting caught only in the last km. Then marten went for the sprint but a small mistake in the final meters caused the victory and he finished 3rd. Overall it was an almost perfect day for us, so now we focus on the next ones where we will target a stage win than we narrowly missed yesterday and today.”
We have been close to the win in the first two stages, but we won’t stop fighting. Tomorrow there’s another chance with a fast final circuit in Vleeder.