“It was a really nice win today. All week we’ve been telling the team to take their chances because one day it will work out.”
And today, the plan that Tom Southam and Matti Breschel had for the team on their final day of the Tour of Poland certainly worked out. Our sport directors watched as Julius van den Berg earned his first stage win in an unforgettable sprint finish.
“It was the last stage so we had to give it a go. Why not? There was nothing to lose,” said van den Berg.
The 24-year-old pro from the Netherlands gave the crowd something to cheer for on the last day in Poland. His riding was intense and his pace relentless throughout the 145 kilometer route.
“Matti did a great job of firing the guys up this morning. Julius took his chance today and delivered. It was a great win for him and the team. They worked hard for it this week,” said Southam.
For Breschel, seeing Julius take his first pro win today was particularly special because he once was van den Berg’s teammate.
“I’m really proud of him, I remember I did his first race with him and he got second in a stage at Binckbank. I knew he had it in him,” said Breschel.
Van den Berg has a unique set of talents that helped him en route to Krakow today. The Dutch pro led a successful breakaway into the city and outsprinted his competitors in a chaotic chase on the final laps.
“At the end of the race, we could hear Matti saying ‘you can do it Julius!’ That was really nice to hear. And he did it! We are so happy to end the Tour de Pologne this way,” said teammate Fumiyuki Beppu.
Van den Berg’s teammates were thrilled to see him take his first victory today after a difficult and demanding week of racing, including fellow Dutchman and close friend, Sebastian Langeveld.
“I’m so happy for the whole team here, but especially for Julius. If you saw the sprint, he was clearly the strongest of that group. Without a real sprinter or GC team leader, we tried something every day. And today it worked out perfectly,” said Langeveld.