It was an instructive race for the team, which consisted of riders with relatively little experience. During these four days, they got the chance to develop themselves. The most notable name on the team’s starting list was Achtereekte. The former speed skater made her official debut in the peloton after trading her skates for a road bike earlier this year.
For Achtereekte, a challenging course was on the programme in Switzerland. “It took some getting used to, but it turned out better than expected. It was a course with everything in it, so I gained a lot of experience in one race. I had some trouble with the heat, so that’s another lesson. I am thrilled that I was able to finish the race. Everything in pro racing is new to me; I think I can be proud of how it went.”
“It was incredibly nice to experience the group feeling. On the first day, I could stay in front for the first few laps. The girls were impressed by that.”
The race in Switzerland was full of discoveries, as Achtereekte experienced. “I was pretty satisfied with the time trial, which I enjoyed doing. In the third stage, I could go uphill for a long time and I also enjoyed that. When I look back, I feel delighted. It certainly tastes like more.”
Race coach Lieselot Decroix had seen an excellent multi-day performance by her new rider. “Carlijn finished her first race. That’s quite something in a race at this level.”
Today’s stage was another tough one, Decroix acknowledged. “It was a very tough stage today. After the first climb, Aafke (Soet) and Amber (Kraak) were still in front. On top of the climb, there was a breakaway of which Amber was a part. Unfortunately, they didn’t get any space and it went too fast for both Aafke and Amber. The most important thing is that we tried to attack again. We wanted to learn a lot from this race and we did.”