Van den Berg takes our second in a row in Tour de Bretagne
Today’s stage presented a short but intense 150 km long battle starting with a hilly part before being followed by a tough and hard final circuit, that the race had to tackle a total of three times. After yesterday’s strong team performance wrapped up with Cees Bol’s stage win, the team was hungry for more and that was exemplified when a few moments into the stage Julius van den Berg jumped into the breakaway of the day alongside nine other riders. 

Van den Berg, who started the day in 15th overall and 52 seconds down the race leader, held the virtual leader position for most of the day as the breakaway was allowed a gap of two minutes. The strong wind difficulted the chase, but when the first of the local laps approached many teams tried to counter-attack and organize a chasing group, with Ide Schelling in the first instance and Edo Affini, later on, representing the Academy interests. With 35 km to go, Julius van den Berg launched his first attack and rode away from the leading group with another rider to his wheel. Both riders were taken back five kilometers later by an already reduced chasing group right before entering into the final local circuit. The leading group was down to six riders shortly before the last lap of the day, but after a strong attack by a breakaway companion Julius van den Berg was left in the left with two more riders. Behind, the bunch broke into pieces with Edoardo Affini and Cees Bol making it to the first group and working together in order to keep Julius’ chances of winning the stage safe. 

The U23 Dutch National TT champion showed himself as the strongest one of the leading trio and after closing the gaps several times he tried his luck with two kilometers to go without distancing his rivals. In the final 3-man sprint Van den Berg had no rival and powered to the stage win and his second of the season. Back in the group Cees Bol took sixth in the day and he will keep the points jersey for another day and Edo Affini rolled in 14th. Thanks to today’s stage win, Julius van den Berg moves up to eighth overall in the overall classification 31 seconds down on the race leader and just behind his teammates Cees Bol (seventh at 27″) and Edo Affini (sixth at 20″). With three riders in the first eight positions of the GC, the Academy keeps on top of the team’s classification with one stage to go. 

Julius van den Berg, stage 6 winner:
“It feels really good to win again! I attacked at the beginning of the stage and I could get into the breakaway. Once I was there I did not feel my legs and I could go on and on and on. It is the best feeling ever to win when you feel like you are the strongest. Our plan was to make it a hard stage and attack, we had three riders within the Top 8 so that means that we are going strong as well. With two stage wins in consecutive days, the Tour de Bretagne has been a really successful one for the already, but tomorrow we have another tough stage and we have three riders really close in the overall classification. We will make it war!”