Young U19-Team Excels in Borsele

The AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step U19 team with Lore De Schepper, Nanoi Van Wettere, Fee Knaven, Margot Marasco and Luca Vierstraete excelled in the three-day stage race in Borsele, the Netherlands. The team finished second in the team classification with three of the five riders still only sixteen, making it one of the youngest teams in the race.

Luca and Fee finished in the top ten of the general classification after three days of racing in rain and wind and subsequent crashes. Nanoi, Margot and Lore also finished the race, as did Laia Bosch and Ella Heremans with their national teams. The EPZ Omloop van Borsele is a UCI Nations Cup race, meaning the best junior-women from around the world were at the start.

Luca Vierstraete finished in sixth place in the general classification. The 16-year-old rider from Kortrijk, Belgium, shared her experiences. “I really enjoyed the time trial on Friday. I know I have a solid TT in me, but you never know where you stand in such an international field. Finishing fifth was a great start. The second day was a hectic one. I crashed after someone ran into my wheel. The chase back to the peloton was intense, but I was happy I made it back to the peloton with Fee and we didn’t lose any time.

On the third and final day I did suffer from my crash, but was also determined to go for the white jersey of best young rider. I was second in that classification. Our task was to race attentively and try to split the bunch. Fee, Margot and me really tried but we didn’t cause any splits. I finished in the bunch again. I am happy with my sixth place overall and second in the young rider ranking. We learned a lot as a team and it shows in that second place in the team ranking.”

Fee Knaven, also just 16, started her weekend well with a sixth place in the time trial. The Dutch rider from Meerle, Belgium, reflected upon her weekend. “The time trial determined the general classification already a bit, but there were still two days of racing to go to defend that place. On Saturday I crashed. I had some wounds, but it was mostly my knee that hurt. At that point, I was two minutes behind the peloton, but thanks to great teamwork with Luca, who also crashed, we made it back. The sprint was a hectic one as always. The same goes for the final day on Sunday. We tried to create some echelons on the open parts, but didn’t succeed. It was a bunch sprint again. I didn’t manage to position well so I didn’t get the maximum out of the weekend but seventh overall is still good.”

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