Team DSM’s Development program got their racing calendar underway today, teaming up with two riders from Dutch Food Valley Cycling Team for the tough Brussel Opwijk classic; the first race in the U23 Road Series.
It was an active start to proceedings with lots of attacks before a breakaway established itself, building up a good lead. Having no-one in the move, the team helped to contribute to the pace setting over the cobbles and climbs, working hard together as a unit to try and bring things back. Coming into the closing 25 kilometres the gap stood at around 30 seconds but it stayed like that for a while, before more counter attacks out front broke up the group and the catch would eventually be made at three kilometres to go. With all of the work they had done earlier, the team tried their best to position Vlad Van Mechelen for the finish, with road captain Pat Eddy acting as last man. However, some teams with numbers swamped them somewhat and Van Mechelen had to surf the wheels a little before producing a strong sprint to take fifth place and move into the lead of the best young rider classification.