A fast start saw the field split on numerous occasions however CCC Team’s riders remained attentive and were always represented at the front.
After 60 kilometers of racing, an eight-man breakaway, including Josef Černy, was finally formed and established a two-minute advantage, which allowed Černy’s teammates to stay stay tucked in the peloton.
When the escape was brought back with more than 70 kilometers remaining, CCC Team was ready for another attack.
Although the course was mostly flat, it was definitely not an easy one, with the riders tackling the VAMberg, a short, but steep climb, four times.
Bad weather and nearly 30 kilometers of cobbled roads, which were often covered in mud, added to the difficulty of the one-day race.
The conditions took their toll and the peloton finally broke into pieces, with a 13-man, strong group emerging in the front, which included Paweł Bernas and Łukasz Owsian.
The group was cooperating well which made it difficult for the chasing bunch behind to close the gap and with 18 kilometers to go, Owsian lost contact with the leaders after putting in a big effort to help Bernas.
Soon after Pim Ligthart (Direct Energie) and Robbert de Greef (Alecto Cycling Team) pulled away, managing to gain 20 seconds on their rivals.
Bernas left everything on the road trying to catch the leading duo, but eventually his group sat up and it came down to a two-man battle for a victory, which saw Lightart take the win, while Bernas crossed the line in eighth place.
Quote from the finish line:
“We knew that the race would be open and that we needed to race attentively. We were also anticipating that with 60-70 kilometers to go there would be a selective stretch with a climb, where we need to be up there. After the split in the bunch it was me and Łukasz Owsian, who made the first group, but everyone was very alert. Earlier, Josef Černy was part of a breakaway and thanks to him, we had everything under control.
I think we left it all on the road. The weather conditions were not making things easy for us with everything from sunshine, hail, rain, and wind. The cobbles, mud and gravel also made it hard.
I’m not fully satisfied with the final result, since I believe a podium result was within my reach. I was lacking some luck or that punch in the finale, but in general I can be happy with my form and our performance. Now we can look forward to the next races.”
Ronde van Drenthe
Zuidwolde › Hoogeveen, 217,6km
Top 3: 1. Pim Ligthart (Direct Energie) 2. Robbert de Greef (Alecto Cycling Team) 3. Nicola Bagioli (Nippo Vini Fantini Faizanè)
CCC Team Top 3: 8. Paweł Bernas 13. Łukasz Owsian 20. Szymon Sajnok