Marten Kooistra wins Ronde van Zuid-Holland
Ronde van Zuid-Holland marked the first race of our action packed weekend, and what a way to start. The parcour presented a predominately flat route where external factors like wind were expected to have a strong input in the final output of the race. The race went off to a fast start and expected strong wind reduced the bunch into small groups, with our guys remaining always close to the head of the peloton. 

Three riders went up the road forming the breakaway of the day, but the main group quickly picked up the pace and reduced the gap. As the race got closer the final end, the bunch was very reduced due to the tough racing conditions, but good positioning and teamwork was key to keep our colors always well-represented in the first big group. With six kilometers to go a group of three riders, including Ide Schelling and Marten Kooistra, broke clear from the reduced peloton. Our two Dutch riders tried to play it tactical but after attacking and counter-attacking the race was decided in a 3-man sprint where Marten Kooistra took the most of Ide’s lead-out and took the win, with the second year U23 rolling in second. In the sprint of the group behind our Stevie Williams (fourth), Cees Bol (sixth) and Edo Affini (ninth) rounded up the Top 10 and wrapped up the day with five Academy riders within the first nine spots. 

Today’s success accounts as the second victory of the season in just three races. It is clear that all the hard work done during the training camp it is paying off already, but we are hungry for more. Tomorrow our team will be in the start Belgium’s Omloop van het Waasland and Netherland’s Dorpenomloop Rucphen, with the goal of keeping the winning streak going. 

Marten Kooistra, 2018 Ronde van Zuid-Holland winner: 
“We had a strong team and we knew that in some points  there would be in echelons so our plan was to stay in the front whole race and ride as a team. There was a point around 60k where we went away with a big group with almost all of us but after a while the whole pack came back.  With six kilometers to go I attacked for the second time and Ide joined the move, so we rode the final part in a 3-man group and we played the victory in a reduced sprint. I am very happy with my win and looking forward to race tomorrow again”. 

Michel Cornelisse, team DS in the race, highlights how the riders stuck to the initial plan: 
“We wanted to make the race hard from early on, we wanted to be the one to be chased not the ones chasing. The riders did a really good job and because of the wind the race quickly broke into small groups. At the end we had a really good situation with two riders in the leading trio, and we made our numbers count. We attacked, but at the end it was all decided in a 3-man sprint and we went 1st and 2nd. There’s a really positive spirit in the team and confidence was already high after the training camp, but after how we rode in DDWV and Cees’ win in Wanzeel the morale is even higher, which is very important in a team”.