Mixed feelings for Team dsm-firmenich and Charlotte Kool on Friday afternoon, as the team sprinted to a fantastic second place but missed out on the stage win due to the early breakaway that just managed to stay away.
Rolling out from Albi this afternoon, the peloton awaited a fast day on the almost pancake-flat course of 122.1 kilometres. With Kool in the ranks, Team dsm-firmenich hoped for a bunch sprint and therefore, the team took up its responsibility by riding strongly upfront, controlling the race, and chasing down the multiple attacks in the beginning. Eventually, Skalniak-Sojka went clear and was later on joined by Emma Norsgaard and Alonso Dominguez, forming the day’s break. On the second of four punchy climbs, Kool was distanced shortly, but due to the fantastic work of Megan Jastrab and Esmée Peperkamp she was brought back quickly.
Going into the final, the team pulled upfront the peloton but the strong breakaway showed to have good legs. Arriving in Blagnac and with only one kilometre to go, the break’s advantage was reduced to ten seconds, but Kool had to come from far and move up herself after a crash in the deep finale. Jumping from the wheels, she launched her sprint and showed incredible speed once more, after which she crossed the line first of the bunch – but second in the race as Norsgaard just stayed away from the day’s break.