Teammates Koch and Labous Win Nationals

Within ten minutes this weekend, Franziska Koch and Juliette Labous won the national road races in Germany and France respectively for Team dsm-firmenich PostNL.

In Germany, Franziska Koch joined the start line of her national championships, which took place on a hilly parcours between Donaueschingen and Bad Dürrheim. As the race progressed, heavy rain began, making it even harder for the riders. On one of the final climbs of the day, Koch managed to jump into a select group of three who fought for the win in the end. Despite some attacks in the final kilometres, the race came down to a sprint to decide the new German champion. Koch launched her sprint early, caught her competitors by surprise and won her first German road title as a professional.

After her win, Koch said, “It was a tough race, and I tried to play it smart and use my energy at the right moments. I knew where Liane [Lippert] would attack and just rode at my own pace on the climb. The three of us came back together and decided to ride together towards the finish. There were a few attacks, but the parcours didn’t really favour an attack to get away. On the finishing straight, I launched my sprint early with 300 metres to go and could hold the gap until the line. I am unbelievably happy with the win; it’s a dream come true.”

Meanwhile, Juliette Labous and her teammate Eglantine Rayer showed a strong performance in the 125.8-kilometre French national road race between Avranches and Saint-Martin-de-Landelles. With ten kilometres to go, Labous attacked with two other riders to vie for victory. She dropped one of her competitors on the final climb, before sprinting to her first road title in a nail-biting finish.

Labous said of her title, “Today was the perfect race for me, I would say. In the first part, I didn’t feel so good, but I knew from my trainer that this could happen, since I was not fully recovered from Suisse yet, but that I would feel better at the end, which was the case. I think Eglantine and I raced really well tactically, and she went all in to chase down a dangerous move. It came back together, and then it was all up to me. In the end, I bridged to Jade Wiel together with Gladys Verhulst-Wild. This was not an easy situation to handle, but I just kept believing until the end because I knew I could do it and went all out to the finish line. This title means a lot as I am not winning a lot of races, but I am really proud to wear this national jersey when racing with the team in the next races!”

Team dsm-firmenich PostNL’s squad will be a colourful bunch when the national champions return with their jerseys to race with their teammates.

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