In the Dutch UCI 1.2 race Omloop der Kempen, Team Coop – Hitec Products didn’t get what it came for. Not surprisingly, the race ended in a bunch sprint. But where the team hoped to fight for the podium, a 11th place for Josie Nelson was all the team got. The plan was to go for Sylvie Swinkels, who was racing in her own region. That changed, after she got held up with only two kilometers to go and then the 12th place was all that was possible.
The Omloop der Kempen had only one World Tour team in the race, Liv Racing – Xstra, and they took the win with Rachele Barbieri. Even though several riders tried to escape, with amongst them riders from Team Coop – Hitec Products, the bunch sprint was inevitably. “From how we worked together during the race, we deserved a better result”, Josie said after the race.
Not long after reaching the finish, Josie tells about the Omloop der Kempen; “It was a really flat race and there was not much wind. We worked together really well. One of the best races so far this season. However, in the final kilometers a few things happened. There was a crash with two kilometers to go and Sylvie was behind it. She was able to get back to us and I would lead her out for the sprint, but she was too tired to keep the wheel.”
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The team then had to change the plan quickly and it was Josie who had to sprint herself. “For me it wasn’t that much different. I was the second to last person in our lead-out-train, so what I had to do wasn’t that different anyway. I was ready for it. It is nice to have a top-15 finish, but from how we were racing today, we deserved a better result. However, results will come and we really improved during the season. We can take that away.”
Results Omloop der Kempen (UCI 1.2):
1. Rachele Barbieri (Liv Racing – Xstra)
12. Josie Nelson
24. Sylvie Swinkels
43. Emma Boogaard
50. Tiril Jørgensen
58. Ane Iversen
59. Pernille Feldmann