A race that Team DSM have fond memories of, having won the two previous editions, the team took to the start line in Schoten today motivated to make it three in a row. With no wind to speak of, the flat parcours favoured the sprinters with several teams looking to set up a fast finale, including Team DSM who had Charlotte Kool as their finisher.
It was a relatively steady affair from the start, with no real breakaway allowed to form until well over halfway into the race when a seven rider group went clear. With all Team DSM riders in the bunch, focus remained on conserving as much energy while contributing to the chase, before the pace ramped up in the finale. Heading into the last ten kilometres the breakaway was caught, with the team moving forward en masse to the front of the bunch. The fight for position was fierce though and the team lost each other a bit on the run in with things strung out through the corners and a crash causing some splits. Kool unfortunately lost the back wheel of last lead out rider Daniek Hengeveld and had to move up the bunch herself, but nonetheless heading under the flamme rouge she was a in a good position.
Not wanting to hit the wind too early, Kool bided her time before launching the sprint but as a result some riders launched from behind and she had to squeeze herself out after being boxed in. Finishing fast, Kool gained on race winner Wiebes all the way to the line, eventually crossing around half a wheel behind in second place.