Charlotte Kool sprinted to a fifth place in a marred sprint of the first stage of the Healthy Ageing Tour in Assen. After an uneventful stage of 28 laps on the TT circuit where the peloton stayed together, it all came down to the final two laps. Daniek Hengeveld attacked and stayed clear until 200 metres before the finish line. Alice Barnes opened the sprint but it was Jolien D’Hoore who gets to wear the first yellow jersey. Charlotte managed to avoid the crashing Lorena Wiebes and rode to a fifth place. The team often showed the NXTG colours at the front of the stage and always were around Charlotte to protect her. The fifth place is a bit of a disappointment to our ambitious sprinter. Charlotte looks back at day one.
It was all down to the wind how the race would unfold today. There was a lot of wind but it didn’t influence the race as we expected. For us this was good because we wanted to test our sprint train. Our goal was to stay together as a team throughout the race and we managed to do that very well. In the final laps we were all together and I tried to save energy to sprint for the win today. The circuit was so wide and riders came from left and right in that final lap. This made for a real unorganized sprint and we had trouble finding each other in the final of the stage.
It wasn’t perfect today but the girls did everything they could. I am sad I didn’t get a better result because they would have deserved this. We do take the learning experiences with us to the next races where we aim to get better results. These young girls have so many qualities that I am truly confident we can achieve our goals.
The Healthy Ageing Tour continues on Thursday with a 14,4 kilometre time trial in Lauwersoog. Watch it live on www.podium.tv from 12pm CET.