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Weekend Round-Up – Week 11

Team Roompot-Orange Peloton takes the first win

A big and first victory for our Team Roompot-Orange Peloton with Jesper Asselman last weekend. He broke out of the bunch in the Tour of Drenthe and was able to win solo on his 26th birthday.

There could be no better present than winning this UCI 1.1 race. Originally nicknamed ‘The Little Hell of the North’, after the bigger Paris-Roubaix brother, the nearly 200 kilometre Tour of Drenthe with lots of cobbled sections is a brutal ride in the northern part of The Netherlands. Team Roompot had multiple candidates for winning this race, with Berden de Vries who showed his good shape in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne and sprinter Raymond Kreder who rode to three top-3 sprints in the Ruta del Sol earlier in the season. Especially Berden de Vries was hoping to for a top-3 in the Tour of Drenthe, because it’s a race in his territory. “It’s true, I’m a rider from this region, that’s what makes this race extra special. Nearly everytime I have to travel to the south, this time the race is in the north of the country, near to my home. But of course it’s also special because it’s a Dutch race, we are Dutch team and we have some strong riders today, so a top-3 should be possible”, according to Berden before the start of the race. Not only would it become top-3, it would be the first win of the season for Team Roompot. But unfortunately for Berden, it was not his attack that was the decisive one, but that of his teammate Jesper Asselman.

An impression in pictures of the effort Berden de Vries did to win his favourite race in The Netherlands.

Due to the mild weather and the lack of wind this edition the peloton was still complete in the final. A series of climbs on the famous VAM-mountain, a short but extremely steep climb, was the deciding factor in the race once again. A small group would decide which rider would win this 54th edition of the Tour of Drenthe. When the riders were entering Hoogeveen, Roompot was present in this last group with 5 riders. The perfect situation to decide the race in their favour. Local hero, Berden de Vries, tried to break away on his own, but he couldn’t tear up the group. When the rest was catching him up, Jesper Asselman decided this was the best chance he could get. With nearly 2 kilometres to the finish line he attacked and it would be the decisive one of the day. Jesper instantly believed in his move. “When the group catched Berden I knew right away that it was the moment to make my move and because we were on the front with so many riders it was the perfect situation. For the team this is perfect, because there’s no more pressure of taking the first win”, according to the winner afterwards at the team bus.

Jesper Asselman crosses the line solo. A classic win for Team Roompot Orange Peloton.

Together with Jesper it was Mark McNally of Team Wanty-Groupe Gobert who could climb the stage to celebrate a 2nd place. The young British rider delivered the best result to his team this season so far. With two BBB-riders on the podium and with one celebrating the victory, this was one of the best weekends of this still early season.

The birthday boy was sharing cake at the beginning of the Tour of Drenthe.

Celebrating the win together with sportive director Erik Breukink and mechanic Dennis Kreder.

And it was not all racing this weekend for Team Roompot riders. Pieter Weening is preparing himself for the upcoming Volta a Catalunya in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada. It’s this type of training that delivers pictures like this.

 

Istrian Spring Trophy, success for Baku and Amplatz-BMC

In the Istrian Spring Trophy the Baku Cycling Project had outstanding results with Matej Mugerli. The sprinter rode to the podium on day 2, with a second place and two days later he was the one who was able to stick both hands in the air for the victory. On Sunday he was the fastest rider of the bunch. In the GC he ended up on the podium as well, being 3rd on 3 seconds of winner Olivier Pardini. The other continental sprinter in good shape is Jan Tratnik of the Austrian Amplatz-BMC team. In the prologue of day one he found himself on the 3rd place and on the last day he managed to take over the points jersey of Italian Matteo Malucelli.

Matej Mugerli crossing the finish line #OurSynergy

Posted by Synergy Baku Cycling Project on Saturday, March 12, 2016

Matej Mugerli had good days in Croatia. He won a stage, ended up 5th in one of the toughest stages and became 3rd in the GC.

Matej Mugerli on the podium after winning the final stage. He also moved up to third in GC!

Posted by Synergy Baku Cycling Project on Sunday, March 13, 2016

Jan Tratnik of the Austrian Amplatz-BMC team took home the blue points jersey of the Istrian Spring Trophy.

 

Snow and sun in France, superfast team in Italy

Last weekend the first important stage race finished on the boulevard of Nice. After a week of hard racing and even harder weather conditions, Paris-Nice came to an end with Norwegian Christian Odd Eiking of FDJ finishing top-40 in the last difficult stage. After 7 days of racing, the final result is a stage win on day 2 and a top-5 sprint on day 3 both with Arnaud Démare. A solid score in a race of such a high level. With the images of the snow and ice on fourth day, we love to see the mechanics of FDJ can finally work in some better conditions when the peloton arrived in Nice yesterday. This is a way better view, seeing the FDJ bus and truck on the sunny coast of the Cote d’Azur.

https://twitter.com/EquipeFDJ/status/709029093048766465

After seeing the FDJ team car in those conditions we never believed a few days later, the mechanics could work under a clear blue sky at the golden coast of Nice. They deserved it after a hard week of work!

In the other stage race that is still taking place at the moment, Thibaut Pinot is still in a solid position in the GC. After an astonishing opening Team Time Trial, FDJ was looking good for the rest of the Tirreno-Adriatico. With two riders in the top-10, the team has layed a solid foundation for today and tomorrow, when the last stages are ridden. Thibaut Pinot is in the 8th position and Sebastien Reichenbach in the 9th position, both 18 seconds behind leader Zdenek Stybar. With an individual time trial on the last day, still anything is possible.

The FDJ guys doing the Team Time Trial in the opening stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico.

 

South-Africa gets Epic

One of the toughest races of the offroad season started this weekend in South-Africa. And of course our mountainbike legend Bart Brentjens is present with his team. In the prologue of Sunday he immediately grabbed the leaders jersey in the masters category himself together with his fellow rider. Rudi van Houts and Hans Becking had a slightly bad day in stage 1. Due to some technical issues they didn’t put in a good result, but finishing this stage with such problems is a proper effort itself. Luckily they will be able to continue their battle in South-Africa.

The story of the day…the prologue of the Absa Cape Epic #2016. Rudi van Houts, Hans Becking, Yana Belomoina, Sabine Spitz, Abraao Azevedo en Bart Brentjens telling their story.

Proud wearing the leaders jersey masters tomorrow, after today's prologue #8daysofcourage @bbmtb @capeepic

A photo posted by Bart Brentjens (@bartbrentjens) on

Bart Brentjens with his fellow rider in the blue leaders jersey in the masters category.

Beautiful ride behind the SA coast

A photo posted by Bart Brentjens (@bartbrentjens) on

Bart Brentjens is doing some reconnaissance with, among others, Yana Belomoina. This is looking still comfortable, but stage 1 was already a tough one, so it’s not all nice smiles anymore.

On the mainland of Europe it was the youngster of the CST Brentjens MTB Racing Team, Margo Moschetti who rode to a great result in Spain. She finished top-5 in the Copa Catalana and was the best U-23 rider in the field.

Margot Moschetti on the podium as the best U-23 rider in the Copa Catalana.