Continuing their strong recent run of form, Team DSM dominated Dwars door de Westhoek, splitting things in the wind before riding a three-up team time trial to the line. They completed the whole podium with Pfeiffer Gerogi, Léa Curinier and Charlotte Kool.
Rising to the pressure of being pre-race favourites, Team DSM controlled the early proceedings of the race and slowly but surely upped the tempo, ejecting riders from the back of the peloton on each lap. Through a section of crosswinds, the team managed to place five riders in a front group of around twenty, before pushing things on once more. With a whopping 50 kilometres to go, Curinier, Georgi and Kool broke clear and began their team time trial. Riding superbly as a unit, and with Esmée Peperkamp hampering and demoralising the chase efforts behind, the trio built on their lead throughout the remainder of the race and went on to take a superb win and an even more remarkable podium clean sweep for Team DSM.
“It was a really windy race today and we went in with a plan to split it halfway through,” explained Georgi. “The whole team fully committed and we managed to make the group smaller. A lap later, we tried again into the wind. Me, Charlotte and Léa ended up going away together for around the last 50 kilometres, so it was a pretty painful last hour. It was full commitment to the line and we managed to pull off a one-two-three, so it was a pretty special race for us.”
Team DSM coach Kelvin Dekkersaid, “There was a lot of wind today and the race took place on a short and narrow lap. We knew that we had to be there with the whole team from the beginning. We knew it was going to be a hard and long day, and made a point around halfway into the race where we would fully go for it and try to break the race up. We did just that and were there with five riders in the front group. We said that we would keep on attacking as a team, so we sprinted to the corner ahead of the wind section and already built up a small gap. The rider following us then crashed, and we hope she’s okay, but then that opened things up even more. The girls then just went full for it from over 50 kilometres to go, which was pretty incredible. They had to fight for every second out there. It was around 30 seconds for a long time and we had Esmée in that second group to try and demoralise the chase and she did a really good job at that. Eventually, with around two laps to go, the gap got bigger and as we hit the last lap it was over one minute, so we said that we could enjoy the finale. Pfeiffer then pulled for basically the whole last lap, she was super strong today, as were all the girls, and she crossed the line in first with Léa and Charlotte behind. We should enjoy this moment, it’s a really nice moment for the whole team.”