After a solid first month of racing in February, March continued with its fantastic racing generosity, as the Women’s and Development programs secured their first wins of the season in incredible style. It was the month that brought the beauty of the Tuscan gravel of Strade Bianche, and stage racing action at Paris-Nice and Tirreno Adriatico, amongst others. March also marked the beginning of the season for our Development program as they pressed play on the action in Friesland, with some crosswind carnage as a warm up for their season. Meanwhile, our Women’s program made it three wins in a row with phenomenal lead out efforts for Lorena Wiebes, who also secured several podium spots along the way.
Our Italian campaign saw our youngsters animate the race, putting in a great effort in the break on the Sterrati roads of Tuscany. At Tirreno Adriatico, Thymen Arensman went round the course of the opening TT as sixth fastest, putting him in prime position to go for a result in the GC. An incredible team-wide effort meant that the 22-year-old could maintain a strong GC placing as he finished the week in sixth place, capping off a brilliant week of team work and commitment for the team. At La Classicissima, Milano-Sanremo, Søren Kragh Andersen lit up the race by attacking on the famous Poggio climb, causing those in the reduced group to be distanced and need huge efforts in order to match his astonishing pace. Søren did a fantastic race, leading the team home in seventh place on the Via Roma.
Meanwhile in France, the opening stages of Paris-Nice were dominated by the traditional crosswind chaos and carnage. The Race to the Sun didn’t live up to its name though, as the race concluded with some rainy stages around Nice. Despite the grey weather, the team lit up the race with multiple attacks, relentless riding and promising team work. With the season going full speed through the Belgian classics, our sprint train headed to the coast of the land of Frites and Mayo, racing to an impressive fourth in the Bredene-Koksijde classic with Sam Welsford. Over to Catalunya, the team had a stellar week with neo-pro Jonas Iversby Hvideberg and the team animating the racing with their attacking style, putting Hvideberg into the KOM jersey on day one. A breakaway day on stage two gifted him the race lead, plus the lead in every single competition. He would keep the points jersey until stage four; a fantastic ride for a talented youngster in his first year with the team and first as a pro.
Our Women’s program found their winning ways in the GP Oetingen where Lorena Wiebes delivered one of her trademark sprints to claim the team’s first victory of the season. It was Floortje Mackaij who was third for the team at Drentse Acht, followed by another win at Ronde van Drenthe with Lorena after great lead outs from the team. The committed riding continued into Nokere-Koerse where despite some bad luck with crashes for the team, Wiebes could claim victory once again on Nokereberg. The crashes at Nokere-Koerse meant some injuries for Pfeiffer Georgi and Franzi Koch; while Pfeiffer returned to racing this weekend in Belgium, Franzi takes some more time to recover. Sending our get well wishes to you Franzi!
Our Development program have shown significant progress in the early stages of their season with valuable lessons and experience gained across Bloeizone Fryslan Elfsteden Race, Dorpenomloop Rucphen and the Youngster Coast Challenge. Casper van Uden showed his sprinting prowess securing two excellent wins at Tour de Normandie with great work in the lead out from the team.
So…lots to report on in March! We are incredibly motivated and energised to continue fighting for more successes across the our three programs. We head into April with smiles on our faces as we look forward to another exciting month of racing!
See you on the road!