Race report

Team DSM take first win of 2021 as Cees Bol powers home in spectacular sprint finish

Paris-Nice

Photo Credit: Cor Vos

Team DSM spectacularly opened their winning account for the 2021 season, with Cees Bol producing a dominant sprint victory on stage 2 of Paris-Nice. 

On a day fret with crosswind danger, the team remained calm throughout the stage, always alert for any possible danger before turning their attention and focus on the sprint. Arriving with a plan and peeling off one-by-one in the finale, through the twisting and technical run in to the line, the team always ensured Bol was in the perfect position. Opening up his sprint at the perfect moment, Bol powered across the line in a dominant manner, raising his arms aloft victorious, after a brilliant performance from the team.

Racing resumed at Paris-Nice today as the peloton headed south, with a mostly flat 188 kilometres from Oinville-sur-Montcient to Amilly on the menu. It was a tentative start to the stage before a breakaway duo attacked and broke clear, gaining a maximum of over five minutes. Things were controlled in the bunch and the gap to the breakaway began to fall before it soon tumbled with 90 kilometres to go as the race reached a crosswind section.

The bunch split into pieces, with the team well represented in the front group before a change in direction saw things come back together. The process repeated itself with 70 kilometres to go, this time with the team driving the pace but yet again the race regrouped and things calmed down. The peloton continued on at a steady tempo, as the kilometres ticked by and the bunch approached the finale.

Heading into the finish the team did an excellent job to position sprinter Cees Bol for the finale, learning from yesterday and taking those improvement points into the finish. Tiesj Benoot strung things out on a hill just inisde the flamme rouge with the Team DSM sprint train tucked in behind him. Nils Eekhoff took over on the descent, positioning Bol perfectly into the sharp final corner, allowing him to take the inside line and not be boxed in. It was then over to Bol who produced his trademark powerful kick, stamping on the pedals and taking the win in dominant fashion; perfectly finishing off the great work from the team throughout the day.

“It’s the best feeling there is,” smiled a jubilant Bol at the finish. “I had a bit of a struggle at the start of the season and wasn’t too good until now but we kept believing and today I got superb help from my teammates. We smashed it. We went well through the last corner, and were close to being boxed in but Nils recognised the moment and kept the door open for me and from there I was in a good wheel. Trek did a good lead out but I started my sprint in the right moment and had enough power to make it to the line. It’s a good boost for the confidence after we didn’t do too well yesterday but today we showed what we’re capable of as a team. It gives us confidence for the next sprint stages but also for on other days where we’ve got chances with other guys in the team.”

Team DSM coach Marc Reef added: “It was really nice that we were able to bring that one home today, especially with how we rode in the final, it was great to see. The guys moved up really well on the uphill section where Tiesj did a good job and we still had four guys up front. We made the right decisions and were able to bring Cees into a good spot. Trek took over and Nils made some space for Cees, who went around the last corner in fourth position. It wasn’t an easy day today, and it split a few times, but we were always in a good position which was great to see. We were sitting well together the whole day which made it a bit easier for us in the final. All in all it was a really good day for us and a really nice victory for the team. We’ll take confidence from this going into the coming stages now.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 BOL Cees Team DSM 4:27:59 60
2 PEDERSEN Mads Trek - Segafredo ,, 25
3 MATTHEWS Michael Team BikeExchange ,, 10
12 KRAGH ANDERSEN Søren Team DSM ,, -
16 EEKHOFF Nils Team DSM ,, -
22 BENOOT Tiesj Team DSM ,, -
45 HINDLEY Jai Team DSM ,, -
47 PEDERSEN Casper Team DSM ,, -
63 SÜTTERLIN Jasha Team DSM ,, -