Team dsm-firmenich took control in the blustery conditions in Wallonia, Belgium yesterday at the Binche – Chimay – Binche, splitting the race in the wind before Pfeiffer Georgi powered to the win on the final cobbled climb in Binche.
Rolling out of Chimay in the morning, Team dsm-firmenich battled both the opposition and the weather conditions to control the race from the off. The team ensured that no dangerous group escaped, before they upped the pace and ripped things to pieces as they hit the local lap circuit. A masterful display in the crosswinds and committed team riding saw the bunch thin out each and every lap, before they split things for good on the last lap. Coming into the finish, Franziska Koch led in, before Georgi hit the bottom of the cobbled climb. Setting an infernal pace, Charlotte Kool let go of the wheel and Georgi managed to get a gap. Digging in to the line, Georgi was able to overcome Schweinberger in the last 300 metres with a great display of power to take the win. This rounded out the season for the team’s Women’s programme with a fine display, making it 20 victories for them in 2023.
“I’m really happy and surprised actually,” expressed a delighted Georgi. “The team did an amazing job all race and we came with a plan to split in the crosswinds. Every lap we tried it and the girls set me and Charlotte up perfectly. I went full gas from the bottom of the last climb, and we had Charlotte there to sprint if it came back, but in the end I could finish it off for the team. I’m really happy. In the final, I tried to recover in the wheel of Schweinberger as I was suffering, but when we hit the cobbles again in the last 300 metres, I just went for it and gave everything. We had some rain, wind, attacks, classic Belgian roads – the day had everything really, it was a hard but nice race to finish the season on!”
Team dsm-firmenich coach Kelvin Dekker added, “We wanted to end the season on a high today, but we also wanted to do it with the team and have everyone involved. We knew there would be a lot of wind. We tried earlier in the race, but it didn’t work, so we tried again on the local laps and just went full-gas. It was great to see six riders right at the head of the race at that point as we split it for the first time. We maybe also made it a bit more difficult for ourselves as then everyone looked to us to react to each and every attack, as we also had some of the ‘favourites’. Everyone did a really good job.
On the last lap we had lost a bit of energy because we had reacted to all of the attacks really well, so we didn’t have the full firepower to push it full-gas in the wind again, although we tried it a bit. Franzi sent it to the bottom of the climb and emptied the tank completely. Charlotte made the right decision on the climb as we said beforehand that Pfeiffer would go full-gas and Charlotte would keep the overview of the rest. She saw that Schweinberger wasn’t directly in the wheel, so dropped the gap when on the limit and that was enough for Pfeiffer to go around the top first. We had a tactical advantage with Charlotte being a few seconds behind, so we knew Schweinberger had to go to the line, because if they stopped then Charlotte would win, or then Pfeiffer would be in the perfect wheel, which was what happened in the end. Pfeiffer could then finish it off brilliantly which is amazing. We see that each of the team brings each other to a higher level, and they can finish things off together. Today really shows what being a team means; it’s a special way to end the season!”