DS and Performance Coach, Dries Hollanders, just wrapped up his third season with the Academy. Our Belgian Sports Director looks back to the overall performance level of the team throughout 2019, and hits already the key points to improve for event a more successful 2020. 

How do you look back to the season, performance-wise?

For the 3rd year in a row, we were able to increase all aspects of cycling. We established ourselves as the top development team in Europe, not only with results at the races, but also by making all the riders stronger on individual performances. We had some great wins with Kaden Groves and Alberto Dainese, and both were placed in the spotlight after every victory. However, as a DS I want to put the focus on the team’s performance, as without it none of the victories would have been possible. Without working in the front of the peloton all-day long our sprinters wouldn’t have had the chance of sprinting for the win, that’s why we look back to a really great 2019 season from everyone at the team!

– What are the main points to improve for the coming year? And what were the main improvements in comparison to the previous ones?

As a DS I don’t think that the team has to improve a lot, the only thing we have to focus on is to keep developing each year. That counts for the riders, but also for staff and all people involved with the team.  For me personally, I’m still disappointed in finishing second in the U23 Road Series and losing yellow in the last race. Jordi Meeus had a good chance to win the GC, but it went wrong. Next season, those things will not happen again, the team must race with more responsibility and confidence in that type of races.

– What will be the goals for 2020?

Keep on performing on the same level as the past 3 years.  A lot of riders are making the step up to the professional ranks means that we will have a younger and new team for 2020.  With this new group, we must be able to keep performing and riding for the win, but with the great staff behind the team, I’m sure it’s going to work well!