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Published on 03-14-2022

A solo performance by van Gestel

Dries van Gestel took a solo victory this Sunday in the Ronde van Drenthe race. It was his first win with Team TotalEnergies.

A victory with panache

The Team’s fantastic week ended in the best possible way yesterday. After Mathieu Burgaudeau’s success on Friday in the sixth stage of the Paris-Nice, it was Dries van Gestel’s turn to shine in the Netherlands. The Belgian finished with a lead of around 100 meters ahead of Barnabas Peak (Intermarché Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) and Hugo Hofstetter (Arkéa-Samsic).

The race really gained momentum about 70 kilometers from the finish when a group of a dozen racers broke away from the pack in the morning. They included Dries van Gestel and Sandy Dujardin for Team TotalEnergies. The latter unfortunately suffered a mechanical problem and never managed to join the lead group.

During the last climb of the VAM-berg, Dries broke away, talking half of the group with him. Only six were left to fight for the prize. The Classic race specialist still had reserves of stamina and managed a solo breakout three kilometers from the finish line. At the end of their strength, his pursuers never managed to catch up with the leader.

“”want to continue with this great dynamic”

Dries van Gestel had not taken first place since 2017. This was a long time to wait for a racer who has been circling victory since last year.

“The whole day was perfect. As I was on my own in the lead group, it wasn’t necessarily up to me to keep the pace. So I was able to conserve my energy, respond to all the attacks and counterstrike in the final kilometers. When I attacked, I realized I’d managed to get an edge. I looked over my shoulder and saw that everyone was fired up. So if I wanted to win the race, I had to keep my pace up. I had time to make the most of it in the home stretch. I always had the impression I could do something great, but I always lacked that little something to tip the race in my favor. It’s really good for my morale to win a race at long last. I want to continue with this positive dynamic to get the best results for the team and help my leaders, Peter and Anthony, as much as possible at the next events.”