Setting out from Wichelen this afternoon, Team DSM were looking to make it a hat-trick of wins at GP Eco-Struct, having won the previous two editions of the race. Faced with a predominantly flat parcours and due to their dominance in the past, most of the onus was set on the team to control proceedings – and that they did.
After a slower start, the attacks began and the team forced the hands of their opposition by infiltrating the move of nine with Franziska Koch and Lorena Wiebes. Despite the move only getting a maximum of 30 seconds, it meant that the pace was high and other teams had to burn some matches to close it down while the rest of the Team DSM riders got an easier ride in the bunch. Eventually things were brought back to heel and one lone rider forged on, as Esmée Peperkamp took over the pace setting at the front.
With all eyes in the team on the goal of setting up fast finisher Kool for the finale, the gap was slowly brought down and the catch made at just over three kilometres to go, where the team further increased the intensity in the bunch and began peeling off one-by-one in the lead out. Launching her effort in sight of the finish gantry, Kool showed her great sprint qualities, romping home to a brilliant victory with Wiebes rounding out the podium, making a great 1-3 on the day for Team DSM. The result marks Kool’s first win for the team and the Women’s program’s fifth of the season.
“I am really happy with this win after the team gave me this opportunity today,” smiled an elated Kool at the finish. “The team really believed in me and did everything they could to get me in a good position so I could finish it off in the sprint. I’m so happy to have been able to do that for them.”
Team DSM coach Pim Ligthart added: “We’re super happy with the win today from Charlotte and also to have Lorena on the podium. It’s really great to see that if we have a goal that everyone goes out and fully commits to it. The team worked really well throughout the day to control the bunch and then we did a super lead out in the finale, with Charlotte finishing it off brilliantly. There’s not much more to say, it was just a great performance from everyone.”
|1||KOOL Charlotte||Team DSM||3:21:59||125|
|2||BARBIERI Rachele||Liv Racing Xstra||,,||85|
|3||WIEBES Lorena||Team DSM||,,||70|