Van den Berg and Arensman take second and third in Paris Roubaix U23
Today’s hell of the north presented almost 200 km of constant fighting, high speed and tireless attacking. The race was off to a really fast start with several attacks and eventually an 11-man group going up the road. The lack of Academy riders in that group brought our guys in front of the peloton to control the race. 

The high pace held by the peloton quickly reduced the number of riders holding in the main group. With 40 km to go, Julius van den Berg launched his first attack and took three riders with him. Once again the pace was picked up behind with Thymen Arensman making it to the chasing group and eventually joining the U23 Dutch National champion in the leading group. The presence of two Academy riders in a select 8-man group allowed our two Dutchmen to play it tactically and after a hectic ride through the second-to-last pavés sector, our two riders found themselves leading the race in a 3-man group. 

After a great share of teamwork by Thymen Arensman, van den Berg arrived into the velodrome together with one rider ready to sprint for the win. The 21-year Dutchman could not wrap up his amazing performance with a win as he was beaten in the final rush to the line. Thymen Arensman completed an impressive race in his first ever attempt and finished the race in third place. 

Thymen Arensman, third in his first year in the category: 
“I am just really happy that I became third as a first year U23, it will take some time to soak it in. We wanted to pull hard after 120 km taking the most of some cobbles sections, but Sunweb did the same a few kilometers earlier. Together with Peter (Lenderink) and Julius (van den Berg) we made it to the first group and a few kilometers later Julius went and took three riders with him. The final kilometers were really hard, with a lot of attacks and just 8 riders and two of us (with van den Berg) in that group.  I stayed in the wheel and on Carrefour De l’Abre and on in the Hem sector only Julius and I was the only ones that could match the attacks. I did a lot of work for Julius in the final, but we made some mistakes. But we are still learning and the Academy is a really good environment to learn that kind of things”. 

Julius van den Berg confirms his all-rounder skills with a podium in Roubaix:
“I felt good during the day, able to push in the hardest sections. The race was on with 80 km to go and from there on I could rely on my legs because I saw that I could follow the moves quite easily and went further and further into the race in the leading group. In the closing part, everyone was really tired and in the second-to-last cobble section, the eventual winner went and together with Thymen we could follow and avoid all the crashes and punctures behind. After that, we tried to do everything to win but we came home with second and third”.