Kos Reflects On Team Success

The AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step elite team travelled to Germany for a one-day race in Stuttgart as final preparation for the Tour de France Femmes, which commences this coming Sunday July 23rd. Mireia Benito, Maaike Boogaard, Julia Borgström and Romy Kasper of the Tour team were joined by Anya Louw and Lone Meertens.

“It was a short one-day race,” said Lone. “With just over 100 kilometres, but well over 1,500 meters of elevation, it was not easy. The roads were also narrow, so we really had to be at the front and be focused. We wanted to race aggressively and that’s what we did. It was a very hot day, but we attacked one by one. In the end, it all came back together, apart from one rider from the break who won the race. For me it was a good day because the hip which has been hindering me since the Gent-Wevelgem crash was not that bad today.”

Romy Kasper went solo, but unfortunately no one joined the number three of the German national championships to keep the break away.

“Like Lone said, we wanted to race aggressively. I found a good moment for an attack, but no one joined me. It became a rather long solo,” Romy explained. “Mireia then followed a counterattack and joined me at the front. I was quite done by then, but I tried to help Mireia. Sadly, she couldn’t follow Elena Pirrone when Pirrone launched a winning move and our group was caught in the penultimate lap.”

The AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step U23-team also raced the five-day Baloise Ladies Tour in the Netherlands and Belgium. Maureen Arens, Yuli van der Molen, Eline van Rooijen, Noëlle Ruetschi, Jade Linthoudt and Julia Kopecky represented the team.

Julia was the fastest in the short, fast prologue on Wednesday, taking 15th place and the jersey for best young rider. The following three stages were bunch sprints, where Eline finished in eighth place on Saturday. The same day, the young riders competed in a time trial. Maureen and Julia were fast and jumped to tenth and eleventh in the general classification. Maureen even climbed one place after the last stage that went to a breakaway.

The team’s sports director Christian Kos looked back at this week with pride. A week in which his young team beat many established World Tour teams in the team classification, finishing fourth in the ranking.

“It was a week with many lessons,” Kos reflected. “We worked well together and rode as a team. We have learned to ride for a leader, or to put the sprinter in a good position together. I think Julia and Maureen had a really good week with that time trial as the highlight. Eline sprinted a few times and finished near or in the top ten. We also earned some jerseys. It was a great learning experience between the big World Tour teams. I think we have shown ourselves well as a development team.”

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