September might have been the last full month of racing in the 2022 season, but we had exciting across all three of our programs.
The Vuelta continued from its start in August, and after the first rest day which was followed by a TT and a sprint, the mountains came calling. Stage 12 saw the riders finish on the summit of Peñas Blancas. After a fast start, Marco Brenner made the jump into the break and the escapees got a big gap, going on to fight for the stage win. Marco stuck with the very best until three kilometres to go, where he dropped back but he rode at his own pace and came home in a strong fifth place, his first ever top five in a Grand Tour.
Two days later it was a GC-Day again, where Thymen Arensman proved his shape and finished in seventh position, missing a move into the top ten on GC by just two seconds. Yet, that should change the next day. Thymen made the jump into the strong break of the day with an eye on the stage win and moving up on GC. On the final climb, the break was still ahead of the favorites group, and he went all-in. With six and a half kilometres to go, he went solo, leaving his opponents in his wake and going all-in for the stage victory. No one could catch him back that day and he won the queen stage of the race and summit finish atop Sierra Nevada, climbing up to eighth position on GC ahead of the last rest day.
Meanwhile, the Women’s program was still busy racing at the Simac Ladies Tour, where Lorena Wiebes had won the first two stages. On stage three Lorena proved her capabilities as a lead out rider by guiding Charlotte Kool to the stage win, holding on for second after some superb work by everyone. Lorena fought to keep her leader’s jersey with two more podiums and a fifth place in the TT, winning the overall classification of the Simac Ladies Tour and rounding out a superb week of racing for the team after some strong riding by everyone – especially Leah Kirchmann who rode her last race in team colours.
Our Development Program returned to action at the Flanders Tomorrow Tour where Tobias Lund Andresen sprinted to a nice second place on stage two and Enzo Leijnse claimed a solid tenth place in the TT.
While the guys in Spain were enjoying their rest day, our Men’s program were in action at the Tour of Britain where they were joined by our two british Development program riders – Oscar Onley and Max Poole. After being on the attack in the final, Oscar sprinted to a nice eighth place on the punchy uphill kicker towards the finish of stage one. Despite some climbs in the final of stage two, the race would be decided in a sprint. The team set up Cees Bol in a perfect position and he stayed calm, launching his sprint at the perfect moment, and won by a few centimeters ahead of Jake Stewart. Marius Mayrhofer managed to get another top ten for the team, with Oscar once again showing himself on the attack over the hills, before the race was ultimately canceled after stage five because of the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
The final week of the racing at the Vuelta featured some hard mountain stages as well as opportunities for breakaways and sprints. Thymen finished off the strong work of the team and took fifth place on stage 18 before he attacked late in the finale of stage 20 to claim second, and as a result move up to sixth place on GC. With support from the team on the final day to ensure that seventh-placed Carlos Rodriguez didn’t take any bonus seconds, Thymen secured a strong sixth on GC – his best GrandTour result.
Meanwhile our Women’s program were in Spain too for the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta. After kicking off the race with a solid sixth place in the TTT, the race got harder as it headed for the hills. Liane Lippert took third the following day and fifth on stage four, while Megan Jastrab just missed the podium on the last day in the sprint in Madrid. Liane and Juliette Labous finished fourth and ninth respectively on GC, rounding off the great teamwork throughout the week of racing.
The Men’s program headed off to Canada for the one-day-races in Montréal and Québec. After not being rewarded for his multiple attacks at GP Québec, Romain Bardet fought to eight place at GP Montréal two days later – after Andreas Leknessund spent a mega day out front in the breakaway. Back in Europe, Casper van Uden and John Degenkolb both took fourth places at the GP de la Somme and Omloop van het Houtland respectively.
With the season slowly coming to an end, one of the season highlights was still to come: The World Championships in Australia. Several Team DSM across all three programs were selected by their national teams – with the squad present and active throughout the week,
Hannes Wilksch went into the early break and then chased for his teammates in the Men’s U23 race, where Pavel Bittner came close to the medals for us in the final sprint, finishing in sixth position. In the Women’s race Liane Lippert was in attack mode, and she was active multiple times on the climb of the local lap. Ultimately, everything would come together in the end with Liane finishing a strong fourth while her teammate Juliette Labous came in 7th. With the combination of U23 riders taking part too, Pfeiffer Georgi fought brilliantly over the climbs to take a brilliant second place in that classification – getting to stand on the podium at Worlds and claim the silver medal. A special mention must go too to our future riders Vlad van Mechelen who go bronze for Belgium in the Men’s junior race, plus Eglantine Rayer and Nienke Vinke who took second and third for France and the Netherlands in the Women’s junior race.
Our 2022 campaign isn’t quite finished yet and you can currently catch us on the road in Croatia where we’ve made a solid start to the week with two top tens on the opening stages. As we head into October, we have several one-day races left on the calendar including the final Monument of the year, Il Lombardia, alongside our Women’s program who still have a stage race left at the brand-new Tour de Romandie.
We hope you enjoy the season finale!