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Home » Floortje Mackaij claims strong 3rd place as Team DSM go on the offensive

Floortje Mackaij claims strong 3rd place as Team DSM go on the offensive

Floortje Mackaij claims strong 3rd place as Team DSM go on the offensive

With the team buoyed from yesterday’s podium finish, they headed into this afternoon’s Omloop van het Hageland filled with confidence and ready to show their colours to the fore once again. Ahead of them lay a somewhat rolling 128 kilometre route, taking place over narrow and twisting Belgian roads, with a few hills and cobbles thrown in for good measure.

It was a steady start to the day with only a few probing attacks in the bunch and things were all together as the race headed into the last 80 kilometres. Here, a dangerous trio went clear of the peloton and after sensing the danger, the team rode well to bring the margin down before Charlotte Kool launched across the gap and made contact. With numbers behind, Kool played the team game and eventually her move was caught at around 50 kilometres to go. A flurry of attacks then bombarded the front of the bunch, with Pfeiffer Georgi marking a promising five rider group that went clear.

With the peloton keeping the gap to around 15 seconds, Lorena Wiebes then followed a strong counter attacking move to join Georgi at the front, meaning there were two Team DSM riders in the front group of eight. However, other teams weren’t happy to pull and things once again regrouped before the elastic eventually snapped over the top of one of the cobbled ascents and a new group formed out front with Georgi and Floortje Mackaij.

As there were other dangerous sprinters in the group, Georgi and Mackaij cooperated in the early stages before sitting on, playing the card of Wiebes in the chasing peloton, which dangled at around 30 to 40 seconds in arrears. However, eventually the energy from the chase diminished and it became clear that the front group would fight it out for the win in the last ten kilometres.

Georgi and Mackaij peppered the front of the race with attacks, each going almost immediately after the other was brought back. With five kilometres to go it looked as if Mackaij might have made the winning move as the rest of the group hesitated but soon they restarted the chase and brought her back. Not giving up, Georgi and Mackaij fought until the very end with yet more attacks all the way under the flamme rouge, before Georgi then worked to position Mackaij for the sprint. Giving it her all to the finish, Mackaij threw her bike over the line, claiming a great third place for the team in a nail-bitingly close photo finish – a good result after yet another great attacking display.

“It was a really nice race today,” explained Mackaij. “We were all super sharp and we defended the moves, making sure we were present in them so all of the time it was in our favour. In the end, after 90 kilometres, Pfeiffer and I made it into a break and could play the tactical games in the final. We kept on attacking but in the end it still came down to a sprint in the front group. It was all out to the finish and we came home with a nice third place. I think we can be proud of how we raced this weekend as a team and how we focused on everything in a good way.”

Team DSM coach Huub Duijn added: “It was super strong teamwork again today. It was a hard, hectic and aggressive race today with a lot of narrow roads and short climbs throughout the day. We were always present when strong breaks were going and also in the end when it split in different groups, we had Floortje and Pfeiffer in a strong ten rider leading group. We were sitting in, as we had Lorena behind, but when it was clear that they wouldn’t come back, we started attacking in the front. They both tried to get away but it all came back together and Floortje sprinted to our second podium of the weekend.”

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