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Charlotte Kool steps up sprinting at the Giro d’Italia Donne

ROUBAIX FRANCE APRIL 16 Charlotte Kool of Netherlands and Team DSM competes passing through a dusty cobblestones sector during the 2nd ParisRoubaix 2022 Womens Elite a 1247km one day race from Denain to Roubaix ParisRoubaixFemmes ParisRoubaix on April 16 2022 in Roubaix France Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images
Charlotte Kool (Team DSM) rides the dusty cobblestones at Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

Charlotte Kool (Team DSM) has played the role of lead-out rider for the fastest woman in the peloton, Lorena Wiebes, all season but in the absence of her fast-finishing compatriot, Kool took advantage of her own chances at the Giro d’Italia Donne on Friday. 

Wiebes has racked up 47 career victories at just 23 years old and Kool has helped her accomplished teammate to many of those after stepping up from Team NXTG Racing this season. Kool was given a chance to sprint for herself on the final stage of The Women’s Tour in June, however she found herself out of position and Wiebes reacted to take the victory herself. 

This time, the team’s focus was all for Kool going into the sprint on stage 2 of the Giro d’Italia Donne. The 23-year-old looked strong but was boxed in at a crucial moment. However, she still made a strong comeback and came fast towards the line to take third place behind winner Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo) and second-placed Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma).

The 106.4km stage into Tortolì looked destined to come down to a bunch kick, with a breakaway being allowed over three minutes before the peloton reeled them in with around 10km to go. 

“It was a pretty easy but warm day,” Kool said after the race. “The team did really well having a lot of bottle points for us so we could stay really cool in the end which helped me get over the heat. 

"We really stuck to the plan throughout the day. Leah [Kirchmann] and Franzi [Franziska Koch] positioned us like we had talked about for every important moment.

“In the final, I lost Franzi a little bit because we were stuck behind the others. I had a strong sprint and came really close in the end so I think I need to trust myself more and I could maybe have started sprinting earlier. I was a bit boxed in and had to come late but we hope to do better tomorrow and aim for that win.”

Kool has four more potential chances at sprinting to victory in this year’s race, depending on the fate of any possible breakaways, with stages 3, 5, 6, and 10 all presenting possibilities for sprint finishes. 

“We did a really good job to bring Charlotte in a good position for the final bend and in the end she got third place. It’s a podium which is great but we’re motivated to go for even more in the next days,” said Team DSM coach Huub Duijn.

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