Home Team News Charlotte Kool claims strong 3rd place in first Giro Donne sprint stage

Charlotte Kool claims strong 3rd place in first Giro Donne sprint stage

Charlotte Kool claims strong 3rd place in first Giro Donne sprint stage

After yesterday’s opening prologue, the peloton were in action today for the first road stage proper of the Giro Donne – faced with a 106 kilometre long route from Villasimius to Tortolì. Despite some hills along the way it looked set to be a stage that would be fought out by the sprinters, with the team looking to set up finisher Charlotte Kool in the finale.

Nonetheless, it was an active start to the day with a lot of attacks and a fierce battle to take the opening Queen of the Mountains classification; before a breakaway duo forged on. Four more riders launched a counter-attack and the now leading group of six held onto a three minute advantage at around 40 kilometres to go. As the kilometres ticked by, the gap slowly dwindled, while the team conserved energy in the bunch ahead of the finale.

All was back together at ten kilometres to go, setting up a fast finale. Moving forward well en masse the team took to the front at around six kilometres remaining, holding their position at the front of the bunch. Through a few twisting and technical turns as the line approached the bunch strung out, but the team did well to keep Kool towards the front. Launching a powerful sprint from around sixth wheel, Kool came past several riders and was closing in on winner Balsamo as the line flew underneath her; ultimately taking a strong third place – a promising result for the days to come.

“It was a pretty easy but warm day,” explained Kool. “The team did really well having a lot of bottle points for us so we could stay really cool in the end which helped me get over the heat. We really stuck to the plan throughout the day. Leah and Franzi positioned us like we had talked about for every important moment. In the final I lost Franzi a little bit because we were stuck behind the others. I had a strong sprint and came really close in the end so I think I need to trust myself more and I could maybe have started sprinting earlier. I was a bit boxed in and had to come late but we hope to do better tomorrow and aim for that win.”

Team DSM coach Huub Duijn added: “It was a really hot day out there but our cooling went well which was great. It was also kind of an “easy” day as once the break had went we could sit in a bit and let other teams take control at the front so we could put our full focus on the final. We did a really good job to bring Charlotte in a good position for the final bend and in the end she got third place. It’s a podium which is great but we’re motivated to go for even more in the next days.”