We wrapped up the first action packed weekend of the season in style. After Cees Bol’s win in Wanzeel Koerse last Wednesday our guys got into the weekend with high morale and big expectations, and they did not disappoint. Saturday’s Ronde van Zuid-Holland saw our Marten Kooistra and Ide Schelling fill the two first spots of the race, with a large representation of Academy riders in the Top 10.
The Academy flag was represented in three different races on Sunday, Greece’s Nea Phyladelphia Criterium, Belgium’s Omloop het van Waasland Kermesse and Netherland’s Dorpenomloop Rucphen. George Stavrakakis rode solo to the win in Greek soil, in the final race before joins the team for his first two races in the Netherlands in the upcoming weekend. Meanwhile in Belgium Daan Hoole continued his strong start of the season with third place in the second kermesse of the season. After winning the Road Race in Loutraki and closing the Top 10 in Wanzeel, our young Dutchman is having a strong and promising start of 2018.
Dorpenomloop Rucphen featured a strong start list, but our riders did not lose the opportunity to show themselves. After a long and hard day on the bike, the team relied on teamwork to face the last part of the race as one unit. They moved as a block to the head of the race and tried to control the gap that the leading duo had. A reduced peloton arrived to the line just behind the two members of the breakaway, and Jordi Meeus sprinted to seventh with Cees Bol rolling in 13th.
All the hard work and sacrifices made during the winter period are quickly paying off. But this is just the beginning, and the whole team is hungry for more. We will be back in racing action next weekend with Ronde van Groningen and Houtse Linies and on Monday we will kick off Tour de Normandie.
Jordi Meeus, seventh in 1.2 Dorpenomloop Rucphen:
“The plan was to fight to be as close to the top as possible. When there was a breakaway with more than 5 guys, we had to be in there. It was a total flat race but it was a hectic race with lots of crashes so you had to be focused the whole race. In the final we raced all together as a team in the front of the peloton. Just like the whole race, the last kilometers was extremely hard because of all the corners. I started the sprint a little bit to far behind and became 5th in the bunch sprint and 7th in total. Onto the next one!”.