Kooistra stays fourth overall after a hectic stage
After yesterday’s breakaway effort that brought Marten Kooistra to third in the overall classification, our riders were ready for yet another battle on Belgian roads in today’s second stage. The parcours featured in the stage were predominantly flat with a final local circuit that was set to decide the eventual stage winner. Shortly after the starting flag dropped, a 4-man group jumped off the main group and stayed upfront for the majority of the day. 

Our riders were able to sit in the head of the peloton, always well-placed saving energy for the final efforts. As the race entered the local circuit the breakaway was brought back. Some counter attacks followed but our riders represented the Academy colors at all times. First it was Jan Maas who attacked with two other riders, and once they were caught our Italian TT specialist, Edo Affini, moved away forming a leading trio that was finally brought back with 15 km to the line. 

The stage winner was decided in a bunch sprint, with four of our riders rolling in the front group ahead of tomorrow’s double stage despite suffering some mechanical problems in the later part of the day. Marten Kooistra is currently fourth in the overall classification 16 seconds down the race leader, with Edo Affini, Jan Maas and Daan Hoole sitting 22 seconds shy from the top of the table. The 10 km long time trail that the bunch will tackle tomorrow morning will have a great input in the final outcome of the race. 

Dries Hollanders, DS for the race, shares his thoughts about the day: 
“It was a hard day for us because we had some mechanical problems and punctures in very difficult moments, which forced Marten to push hard to come back to the bunch and wasn’t able to fight for the sprint. We currently have four riders in contention to fight for GC. I am really confident coming into tomorrow’s time trail as we have some really good specialists and I believe that all of them are more than capable of going deep in both stages tomorrow and finish of the race up there in the overall classification”.