Koen de Kort Official Website
Welcome to the Koen de Kort official
Koen de Kort is a Dutch cyclist and is riding for the World Tour
Giant-Shimano cycling team since January 2009.
On this website you will find regular news on Koen's races. If
he manages to find the time, Koen tries to write a report after
every race so you can gain an insight into the peloton and Koens
experiences within it.
Read the latest news about Koen on
During the Tour de France Koen writes a daily Blog
about the Tour for Financial Review. All the entries you can read
Through the stage in one piece
The stage from Ieper to Arenberg over 152.5 kilometres on
Wednesday July 9th was going to be a tough stage with no less than
nine cobble sections from Paris-Roubaix along the route. Due to
heavy rain, the director of the Tour decided to remove two of the
sections but there was still much drama. Even before the peloton
hit the cobbles, the pace was hot and there was plenty of crashes.
The most famous victim was defending champion Chris Froome. Last
year's winner dropped out of the race before the first cobble
section after crashing twice. Koen managed to luckily stay upright
but that can unfortunately not be said of his teammate John
Degenkolb who the Giant-Shimano team had their money on for the
stage. After that the team had nothing to gain. Koen crossed the
line in a group 5'35" down on stage winner Lars Boom in 70th
Photo: Koen and Tom Dumoulin after the stage
Marcel Kittel wins stage four too
Team Giant-Shimano has now its third stage victory. On the first
stage on French soil, Marcel Kittel took the win. Koen crossed the
line celebrating with teammate Tom Veelers in 104th place in
Marcel Kittel wins stage three
Team Giant-Shimano has taken its second victory in three stages.
Marcel Kittel, after being delivered by his teammates, won the 150
kilometre stage in the streets of London. Koen, who lead the
peloton in first place in the final corner along with teammate Tom
Veelers and Kittel in his wheel, crossed the line celebrating in
the peloton in 78th place.
Watch Koen's reaction after crossing the line to the cameraman
Watch Koen's reaction before the start to the cameraman from
General classification riders to the fore on stage
It came as a surprise that the second stage of the Tour de France
taking the peloton 201 kilometres through England would be seized
by the overall contenders. On a steep climb in the finale, the
favourites did not want to be caught napping and went to the front
of the peloton. On the final climb the pace was hot with riders
such as Froome and Contador at the front. Koen, who had nothing to
prove in such a stage, hit the deck twice but luckily only suffered
a painful elbow and a cut to his knee. He crossed the line in 122nd
place 14'48". Koen's teammate Marcel Kittel lost the lead, as
expected, crossing the line in 166th place 19'50" down on Italian
Vincenzo Nibali who took the stage and the yellow jersey.
Marcel Kittel wins first stage and takes yellow, Koen
Team Giant-Shimano have pulled it off again. Just like last year
in Corsica, it was Marcel Kittel that won the first stage after
great work from the team. In the hectic finale, the Giant-Shimano
riders managed to move to the front despite the high pace and the
hilly course. John Degenkolb and Koen maneuvered Kittel to the
perfect position for the final sprint. Kittel started the sprint
while Briton Mark Cavendish edged Australian Simon Gerrans and gave
a head butt to. Both crashed as a result but neither affected
Kittel who took the stage win ahead of Slovak Peter Sagan. Koen
crossed the line in 19th place and was able to celebrate with
champagne with his teammates.
Koen called Kittel's victory "absolutely beautiful." "It was not a
simple finish," Koen said. "The risk of crashes was really high.
The pressure on Marcel after last year was even higher, when he won
Cameraman in first stage
Koen will be a cameraman on the first stage of the Tour de France.
Tour organiser ASO have placed a camera underneath Koen's saddle.
We are curious as to what the images will look like and hope to
post them up on the site if it's allowed
- 5th - 27th July Tour de France
Crash ruins the day at the national
In the national championships in Oostmarsum on Sunday June 29th,
Koen and his teammate Roy Curvers, as well as several other riders,
were taken down in a crash in a corner caused by the careless
action of a Belkin rider. Due to the fall, a group of 10 riders
broke away from the peloton which was chasing a group of 15 at the
time. After Koen changed bike and his shoe, he had to bridge back
up with Curvers. The peloton managed to pull back all of the riders
except one, Sebastian Langeveld. Langeveld was able to take
advantage of the rivalry between Belkin and Giant-Shimano in the
leading group and had managed to get away. Langeveld took the Dutch
national championships with Niki Terpstra sprinting to 2nd place
behind. Koen was blocked in the sprint and crossed the line in 14th
place with his teammate Sinkledam the best placed Giant-Shimano
rider in 4th place.
In the video underneath, Koen reacts after the race to Omroep
Brabant (in Dutch).
Omroep Brabant visits Koen & Kaitlin in
Due to Koen taking part in the upcoming Tour de France, reporter
Job van der Zon from broadcaster Omroep Brabant visited Koen and
Kaitlin in Girona along with a camera crew. You can watch the
Going to Tour de France
Koen will race the Tour de France. This was announced on Monday
June 25th by Team Giant-Shimano. The Tour team consists of: Dries
Devenyns (BE), John Degenkolb (GER), Tom Dumoulin (NL), Roy Curvers
(NL), Ji Cheng (CHN), Marcel Kittel (GER), Koen de Kort (NL),
Albert Timmers (NL) en Tom Veelers (NL).
89th in final stage, Dumoulin 5th in overall
The final stage from Martigny to Saas-Fee over 156.5km was won by
World Champion Rui Costa with Dutchman Bauke Mollema in his wake.
Koen's teammate Tom Dumoulin came in 9th place and ended in the
overall classification in 5th place, which was won by Rui Costa.
Koen got a flat tyre at the worst time, on the ascent of the first
climb, and it took two hours for him to get back to the peloton. He
eventually finished the stage in the bus in 89th place 32'39" down.
In the final classification he was 71st.
82nd in penultimate stage, Dumoulin holds 2nd
The penultimate stage in Switzerland was the stage in Delemont
with the final climb of the Verbier. After 219.1 kilometres, Koen
came 82nd 12'39" down on Colombian stage winner Johan Estaban
Chaves. Teammate Tom Dumoulin kept at the front and held on to
second place in the general classification.
92nd in time trial
On Friday June 20th an individual time trial took place over 24.7
kilometers starting and finishing in Worb. Koen's teammate Tom
Dumoulin obtained a wonderful second place, 22 seconds down on
German Tony Martin while Koen came home in 92nd place, 3'31" down.
"I rode the time trial without any problems," Koen said afterwards.
"Just at my own pace."
Photo: Koen in action during the time trial (with thanks to Cor
20th place on 6th stage
At the end of Thursday's 183.5 km stage from Buren a. Aare to
Delemont, Koen was part of the first group of 67 riders who had
survived the final third category climb at Le Rond-Pre. The sprint
for the stage win did not go as planned and Koen came in 20th
place. The finish was, just as it was the day previous, very
dangerous due to narrowing of the road and road obstacles.
19th place in 5th stage, Degenkolb 3rd
On Wednesday's stage, on June 18th, the peloton went 183.6
kilometres from Ossingen to Buren a. Aare and Koen was in first
place on the second last corner, with 400 metres to go, while
working for sprinter Degenkoln. Degenkolb came 3rd in the sprint
and Koen crossed the line in 19th place.
You can view the video of the sprint from stage 5 from cameras
on Koen and John Degenkolb's bikes
58th place in 4th stage
The stage on Tuesday June 17th from Heiden to Ossingen over 160.4
kilometres ended in a mass sprint and was won by Brit Mark
Cavendish. Koen set up the sprinter for sprinter John Degenkolb but
unfortunately Degenkolb was no longer in his wheel. Degenkolb who
had fallen earlier on in the stage, during the neutralised section
due to a flat tyre, was unable to hold Koen's wheel in the finale
and drifted back in the group. Koen crossed the line in 58th
81st place in 3rd stage
Monday's stage on June 16th started in Sarnen and finished in
Heiden with an uphill finish. Koen crossed the line in 81st place
in a group 3'13" down on Slovak Peter Sagan who won a sprint from a
group of about 40 riders. enners won.
In preliminary selection for the Tour de France
On Monday June 16th Team Giant Shimano announced their preliminary
selection for the upcoming Tour de France. As expected Koen is in
the selection. In addition to Koen, the selection includes Nikias
Arndt, Roy Curvers, Bert De Backer, John Degenkolb, Dries Devenyns,
Tom Dumoulin, Johannes Fröhlinger, Simon Geschke, Cheng Ji, Marcel
Kittel, Albert Timmer and Tom Veelers. A definite selection would
mean a fourth Tour de France of Koen's career.
7th place on second stage of the Tour of
The second stage took place on Sunday June 15th starting in
Bellinzona and finishing 182km later in Sarnen. Six riders broke
away after 15 kilometres. Of the six, three managed to hold a
slender advantage of 14 seconds in Sarnen over a peloton of 80
riders out of which Koen sprinted and deservedly took 7th place on
Tour of Switzerland kicks off
Koen will take part in the Tour of Switzerland from Saturday June
14th until Sunday June 22nd. The race kicked off on Saturday with
an individual time trial of 9.4 kilometres. Koen came in 101st
place, 1'18" down on stage winner Tony Martin from Germany. Koen's
teammate Tom Dumoulin came in 2nd place, 6 seconds down on
43rd in final stage, Tom Dumoulin 2nd in general
The final stage of the Tour of Belgium was the time for the
Giant-Shimano riders to put German general classification leader
Tony Martin under pressure to the advantage of Tom Dumoulin, who
was second 16 seconds down on Martin. Koen rode well placed ,
attacked once or twice and kept the pace hot. He did that until
with about 20 kilometres to go at the penultimate climb where the
shrunken peloton broke apart once again. A group of 41 riders
disputed the stage win containing Martin and Dumoulin. German Paul
Martens won the srtage. Koen crossed the line in the second group
1'59" down in 43rd place. In the final general classification Koen
7th in fourth stage
Koen obtained 7th place on the fourth stage of the Tour of Belgium
on Saturday May 31st. Koen sprinted from the shrunken peloton at
the end of the 177 kilometre stage which started and finished in
Lacs de 'Eau d'Heure. Koen started the sprint from 4th place behind
Andre Greipel who was delivered very well to the front by a
teammate. A third place finished looked likely for Koen but the
last stretch had an uphill incline which was a bit too much for
Koen and he was passed by several riders.
37th in individual time trial
On Friday May 30th anb individual time trial over 16.3 kilometres
took place in Diksmuide. This third stage of the Tour of Belgium
was won by German Tony Martin, with Koen coming in 37th place. Koen
had to concede 1'26" on Martin. It has been some time since Koen
has come in the top 40 in a time trial. "I wanted to get a good
training," Koen said from Belgium. "And especially on a bike that I
hadn't ridden before today."
Second stage ends in a mass sprint too
The second stage going from Lierde to Knokke-Heist over 170.4
kilometres finished once again in a mass sprint. Once again Tom
Boonen won. Koen came 54th. Koen's teammate Ahlstrand came in 8th
Tour of Belgium kicks off with mass sprint
From Wednesday May 28th until Sunday June 1st Koen will
participate in the Tour of Belgium. The first stage went from
Lochristi to Buggenhout over 173.6 km and it ended in a mass sprint
where Koen came 46th. Belgium Tom Boonen took victory ahead of
German Andre Greipel. Koen's Swedish teammate Jonas Ahlstrand came
in 4th place.
2nd place for Degenkolb in final stage
The final stage of the Tour of California started and finished
122.4 kilometres back in Thousand Oaks and destined to be a
sprinters stage. In the final corner, Koen started the sprint for
teammate Degenkolb. Koen was passed out by all the big guns
including Mark Cavendish, Peter Sagan and Degenkolb. Koen came 15th
in the sprint. In the final classification which was won by Briton
Bradley Wiggins and where Koen's teammate Lawson Craddock obtained
a wonderful 3rd place, Koen came 70th.
Bad day for Koen
Koen had a bad day on Saturday May 17th in the 142.8 kilometre
stage from Santa Clarita to Pasadena. He had bag legs on the day
and he ended up in a group that was distanced after one of the
climbs. Teammate Degenkolb did manage to stay ahead which made it
even worse for Koen because he was unable to support him in the
mass sprint which was won by Slovak Sagan. Degenkolb was 6th. Koen
crossed the line in 70th place 6'21" down.
Worked well in mountain stage
On Thursday a mountain stage awaited that riders starting in Santa
Clarita and finishing 158 kilometres later in Mountain High. Koen
rode for much of the stage at the front until with about 17
kilometres remaining to keep teammate Lawson Craddock well placed
within the peloton due to his good overall classification. After
doing his work, Koen and his teammate Degenkolb, settled into final
group going for the finish at a reasonable pace. Koen crossed the
line in 82nd place, 23'30" down from Colombian Johan Esteban
Chaves. Craddock was 10th on the stage and moved up to 3rd in the
San Marco Pass upsets the sprinters
The climb of the San Marcos Pass in the 173.8 km stage from Pismo
Beach to Santa Barbara upset many riders. Including John Degenkolb
and Koen. They ended up in the second group while a group of about
45 riders formed the leading group. Koen crossed the line in 70th
place. While ahead American Taylor Phinney broke away from the
leading group to win the stage with a magnificent solo.
In the stage that took the peloton 168.9 km from Monterey to
Cambria, the sprinters team made a miscalculation whereby they were
unable to catch the breakaway of six riders. The six rode so
strongly that they still had a minutes' advantage at the finish
Koen crossed the line in 37th place in the peloton.
89th in mountain stage
Tuesday's stage started in San Jose and finished 177km later at
Mount Diablo. The stage contained two tough climbs with the final
climb being the ascent up Mount Diablo. Koen finished the stage in
89th place almost 20 minutes down from stage winner Rohan Dennis
80th in time trial
On Monday May 12th the Tour of California had its traditional
individual time trial took place, with 20.1 kilometre course.
Briton and current Olympic Time Trial Champion Bradley Wiggins won
the stage. Koen, who didn't race with a time trial bike but a
normal bike with aero bars, came 80th in the stage, 3'15" down on
This is what how leadout looked & sounded like of
Koen in the first stage. Camera mounted under my seat and handlebar
of John Degenkolb
Degenkolb 2nd on first stage of Tour of California, Koen
From the 11th to the 18th of May, Koen lines up for the Tour of
California in America. The first stage took the peloton over a
distance of 193.1 kilometres starting and finishing in Sacramento
and ended in a mass sprint with the Giant-Shimano riders delivering
team leader John Degenkolb perfectly to the front. Unfortunately
Manxman Mark Cavendish managed to outkick Degenkolb, beating the
German by mere millimetres. Koen, who had earlier on in the stage
been part of a breakaway group containing Belgians Tom Boonen, Greg
van Avermaet, Brit Bradley Wiggins, Australian Matthew Goss and
American Taylor Phinney, crossed the line in 35th place after
setting up the sprint.
Amstel Gold Race
On Sunday April 20th Koen did not complete the Amstel Gold Race.
But it appeared that this had been part of the plan given Koen's
reaction after the race whereby he said he had carried out his work
and the race went well. "By the final passage through the finish I
stopped," Koen said. Teammates Tom Dumoulin and Simon Geschke were
present in the finale where Geschke finished in 7th place and
Dumoulin in 20th.
On Easter Monday Koen will leave to Yorkshire in England for a
short training camp. The first three stages of the upcoming Tour de
France will take place in England and so the team will be training
on the course of the race.
- 11th - 18th May Tour of California(USA)
Two flat tyres spoil Paris-Roubaix for Koen
Koen de Kort lined up on Sunday April 13th in the classic
Paris-Roubaix which would take the peloton some 257 kilometres. In
the first 200 kilometres Koen was well placed at the front of the
peloton, despite having already had a flat tyre and through an
intensive effort managed to make it back to the front. But he had
good legs. That was until the final cobble sections when it was
over and out for Koen when he had a second puncture just ahead of
the Mons-en-Pévèle. It was too much to try to come back to the
front. Ultimately it would be compatriot Nikki Terpstra that broke
away from the leading group of twelve who would manage to win
Roubaix by arriving at the velodrome solo with an advantage of 20
seconds. Koen's teammate John Degenkolb sprinted to second place.
Teammate Bert de Backer, who also had a good race, came 11th. Koen
crossed the line disappointed 9'55" down in 83rd place.
Photo: The tears come quicker than the laughter after two
punctures spoil Koen's Paris-Roubaix (with thanks to Cor
Koen's reaction after Paris-Roubaix
After Paris-Roubaix Koen had an interview with Cyclingtips. Watch
the interview below.
Reconnaissance of the cobbles
On Thursday April 10th Koen and his Giant-Shimano teammates
carried out a reconnaissance of the cobble sections of
Paris-Roubaix. The eight riders rode through the dusty hell of the
North. With the weather forecast, Sunday will be dry and the riders
will have a dusty edition of the race to get through. Koen said
from France that the atmosphere within the team is really good. The
riders will stay close to Roubaix until Saturday and then they will
stay closer to the race start in Compiegne.
Photo: riders, team lieaders and mechanics during a break at the
reconnaissance of the Hell of the North
54th in Flanders
On Sunday April 6th, Koen obtained 54th place in the Ronde van
Vlaanderen: After about 200 kilometres Koen was well placed in the
leading group of about 60 riders with his teammates John Degenkolb
and Dries Devenyns. At around 230 kilometres just before the second
ascension of the Oude Kwaremont, Devenyns was too far back in the
group and Koen brought him back to the group just before the climb.
Due to this effort the climb of the Oude Kwaremont was tough on
Koen. Devenyns held his ground at the front, along with Degenkolb,
and they finished in 14th and 15th place. Koen zho got through it
well crossed the line in a group 4'19" down on Fabian Cancellara in
54th. This group rode for 36th place and finished around three
minutes behind the group with Degenkolb and Devenyns.
John Degenkolb wins Gent-Wevelgem, Koen
Sunday March 30th was a formidable success for Giant-Shimano with
victory in the WorldTour classic Gent-Wevelgem. John Degenkolb won
the sprint from a group of 30 men. After the final climb on the
Kemmelberg, a group of about 80 raced toward the finish. Three
breakaway riders under the impulse of Belgian Stijn Devolder held a
gap for much time but with several teams contributing one or two
riders at the front of the peloton (with Dries Devenyns on behalf
of Giant), the three were caught with about 1.5 kilometres to go.
It was then Koen's turn to keep John Degenkolb as close to the
front as possible and to set him up for the sprint. Degenkolb
managed to lose Koen's wheel but was able to nestle behind Slovak
Peter Sagan and when Sagan began his sprint, Degenkolb came around
and got in front, holding off the late challenge of Frenchman
Arnaud Demare with an advantage of a half wheel. Koen, who dropped
off the pace in the final hundred metres, crossed the line in 31st
place 6 seconds down.
In depth interview met Koen de Kort
Friday March 27th Wielerland,
Koen has become a valuable fixture in the Giant-Shimano team. The
31 year old rider discussed in an in depth interview with
Wielerland the upcoming classics, taking his own chances and the
transformation of teammate John Degenkolb.
How is this season going?
"So far the season has been going really well. The form is luckily
coming right on time and I felt good in Milan-San Remo. I ended up
working for John Degenkolb a little bit earlier than I had
intended, but unfortunately he had bad luck and all my work was for
nothing. In terms of sickness or colds I didn't come down with
anything from Milan-San Remo. Although I had fierce cold fingers
afterwards. Luckily it wasn't as bad a weather conditions as last
year, but it certainly wasn't nice either."
Are you ready for the classics?
"I'm really up for them. Especially the races that are fast
approaching, like Gent-Wevelgem. That's a really nice race and
after that it's the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix. I'm
looking forward to them. I think I'm in pretty good form, so I'm
ready for them."
What do you expect from them?
"I think we'll be really strong as a team. John is in form which
he's shown pretty well a few times this season already. It's pretty
obvious that he'll be the team leader or at the very least he will
have a protected status within the team. After that we have a few
riders, like Dries Devenyns, who are at a great level at the
moment, and I hope I'm part of that. I hope that we can do
something for John in the finale. With him we've got a really fast
finisher at the front and that can be to our advantage. One time
we'll have to ride for John and other times we'll try to break away
so that they can bring John to the finish and we don't have to set
the pace. If Dries or I break away and noone behind wants to work
because they would end up towing John, then we'll have our own
chance. There are several scenarios that are possible."
Do you hope you will be able to take your own
"Yes, I hope so. Two years ago I was third in Dwars door
Vlaanderen. Last year I crashed in Qatar and as a result I
had a poor preparation for the classics. This year I've had a good
preparation. I don't know yet if I'm on the same level as two years
ago, but I can't rule it out. I think it'll be clear on Sunday for
me and after that anything is possible, if that is the case."
How do you see your own
"I've really grown, especially in setting up the sprints. Last
year on two occasions in the Tour I was the last man for Marcel
Kittel and it went really well. This year I've already been the
last man a few times for Marcel Kittel and once again it went well.
I've specifically prepared myself for it by doing more strength and
sprint training. I think I'm stronger than last year. In setting up
the sprints, there's lots of possibilities for me and for the whole
team, but of course I haven't lost my own ambitions. I hope to race
the finales in the classics once again and to get a nice result.
There is still a rising line and I am getting better and
Are you up for Flanders and Roubaix?
"Yeh totally. They're really great races to be able to race the
finales. As a team we're not yet on the same level as Tom Boonen or
Fabian Cancellara who always ride well there, but I think that with
John Degenkolb we had a top favourite for Milan-San Remo. For
Flanders and Roubaix he doesn't belong with the top favourites.
Hopefully if there's plenty of us teammates coming into finale,
then anything is possible."
What do you think of Degenkolb's transformation from
sprinter to classics specialist?
"We all known that he's really strong. When we're on a training
camp, he rides the climbs with the best climbers and he sprints
with the best sprinters. It was clear in training camps a while ago
that his strengths were in the classics. It's a great
transformation for him to go from sprinter to classics specialist.
In the Tour de France we will ride for Marcel Kittel in the
sprints, but Degenkolb can go for his own chances in the tougher
stages when Marcel no longer is with the leading group. He is one
hell of a strong rider. He can position himself well and can win in
mass sprint finishes. It's great to see the transformation closeby
and even better to be able to do my share in it too."
Crashed during the E3-Harelbeke
Unfortunately Koen crashed during the classic E3-Harelbeke. Two
years ago, Koen crashed out of this very race with a particularly
bad fall. It was so bad that he ended up sidelined for many of the
spring classics. Koen hit the ground this time when the first
twenty riders in the bunch shifted abrupted and a rider crashed
right into Koen's wheel. Koen went down along with his teammate
Reinardt Janse van Rensburg. John Degenkolb managed to just avoid
the crash but due to the incident he missed having two important
helpers in the finale. Degenkolb only had Dries Devenys for support
against the supremacy of the Omega Pharma-Quickstep block.
Degenkolb crossed the line in 15th place in the first chasing group
after the break of four out of which Slovak Peter Sagan won the
race. Koen finished the race in a small group 7'33" down on Sagan
in 95th place.
- Friday March 28th E3-Harelbeke (Belgium)
- Sunday March 30th Gent-Wevelgem (Belgium)
- Sunday April 6th Ronde van Vlaanderen (Belgium)
- Sunday April 13th Paris-Roubaix (France)
Bad luck for favourite Degenkolb in Milan-San Remo, Koen
Giant-Shimano had two riders to support team leader John Degenkolb
in the finale of the classic Milan-San Remo. Koen was one of the
two. He gave it his all to ensure his teammate was among the first
on the Cipressa. Unfortunately Degekolb got a flat tyre in the
finale on the Poggio and he ended up being the only sprinter that
was not present in the leading group when Norwegian Kristoff
sprinted to the victory in the streets of San Remo. Degenkolb
crossed the line in a disappointing 39th place, almost two minutes
down while Koen came home in 80th place 10'04 seconds. The hope now
is that the riders from Giant-Shimano have more luck this coming
Friday in the E3 Harelbeke.
Koen pulled out of the final stage of Paris-Nice. The task for the
team for the final day was accomplished with the defence of John
Degenkolb's green jersey. Frenchman Arthur Vichot won the final
stage while Carlos Betancur won the overall classification.
95th in 7th stage
Teammate Albert Timmer joined the breakaway group at the start of
the 195.5 kilometre stage from Mougins to Biot Sophia Antipolis.
Timmer was able to have a go because the stage held no potential
for teammate John Degenkolb. Unfortunately Timmer's group was
pulled back just before the finale. At that stage Koen was no
longer in the leading peloton. Koen crossed the line in 95th place,
11'45" down on Tom Jelte Slagter who took his second stage win of
the race when he won an uphill sprint.
101st in 6th stage
Friday's stage took the peloton 221.5 kilometres from
Saint-Saturnin-lès-Avignon to Fayence, taking in the Col de
Bourigaille with 20 kilometres to go, which ensured that the
peloton broke into pieces. Koen finished the stage, along with John
Degenkolb, in the second group which came in 6'58" down on
Colombian Carlos Alberto Betancur who took the stage. Koen crossed
the line in 101st place.
71st in 5th stage
The plan of the team for the 152.5 kilometre stage from
Crêches-sur-Saône to Rive-de-Gier was to ride for John Degenkolb,
but when Degenkolb had chain problems, the team switched to riding
for Janse van Rensburg. Koen was no longer in the leading group. He
would finish the stage in 71st place, 2'29" down on Colombian stage
winner Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez. Janse van Rensburg took 6th
place. Degenkolb ended the stage in the leading group and held on
to this second place in the overall classification.
Degenkolb loses leader's jersey
The fourth stage would be a difficult stage for the Giant-Shimano
riders to hold on to the yellow leader's jersey of John Degenkolb
and to deliver him to have a chance to win the stage. It was no an
impossible task either as the climbs at the end of the stage were
second and third category. With 14 kilometres to go, the breakaway
was caught by a depleted peloton. It was then when Dutchman Tom
Jelte Slagter attacked on the final climb and in the descent he was
joined by Briton Geraint Thomas. Together the two held their group
to the finish, maintaining a narrow gap of 5 seconds of the chasing
group. Slagter took the stage ahead of Thomas. John Degenkolb
crossed the line in the second chasing group, 18 seconds down. With
his second place, Thomas took the lead from Degenkolb in the
general classification. Degenkolb now sits in 2nd overall, 3
seconds down. Koen crossed the line in 91st plae, 4'15" down.
Three times lucky for Degenkolb in stage
It all finally came together for Team Giant-Shimano in stage three
of Paris-Nice. After two second places, Degenkolb took the stage
and the lead in the general classification when he won the mass
sprint on the motor racing circuit of Magny Cours. After each of
the teammates played a role in the final kilometres to keep the
pace of the peloton high, Koen led out Degenkolb. Koen crossed the
line in 42nd place.
Degenkolb 2nd once again, Koen 29th
In the finale of the second stage which took the peloton over
205km from Rambouillet to Saint-Georges-sur-Baulche, Koen took to
the front to set up the sprint for Degenkolb. Unfortunately the
Belkin rider Moreno Hofland was a little bit faster and Degenkolb
came second for the second day in a row. Koen crossed the line in
Degenkolb kicks off Paris-Nice with 2nd place, Koen
On Sunday March 9th, the stage race Paris-Nice kicked off with a
road stage of 162.5 kilometres. As the race panned out, the
Giant-Shimano team worked to keep the race together for sprinter
John Degenkolb. Underway Koen had to hop off his bike twice during
several crashes but luckily he did not sustain any injuries and was
able to remount and continue. The Giant-Shimano team took to the
front of the race in the final kilometres with their sprint train,
however Degenkolb did drift back off the front. In the end
Degenkolb did manage to sprint to second place. Koen crossed the
line in Mantes-La-Jolie in the company of teammate Bert De Backer
some time later in 99th place. Paris-Nice will continue until and
finish on Sunday March 16th.
83rd in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne
On Sunday March 2nd, the day after the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Koen
took part in the classic Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. Koen finished the
race within the peloton which crossed the line 12'13" down on a
group of 10 leaders from which Belgian Tom Boonen won the sprint.
Koen was 83rd.
28th in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
Koen came 28th place in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday
March 1st. Koen was well placed within the peloton which gradually
shrunk in size as the peloton tackled the various climbs going into
the final hour and a half of the race. When several riders went on
the attack, seeking to bridge up to the early breakaway rides which
contained Koen's teammate Raymond Sinkledam, the pace in the
peloton increased. Unfortunately the chasing group of 40 broke up
on the Paddestraat and Koen, along with favourite Tom Boonen, ended
up in the second group. Teammate Devenyns was in the leading group
and ended up coming 8th place in a sprint for 6th place behind
winner Briton Ian Stannard. Koen crossed the line in 28th place at
|The 2013 Tour - a family affair - will shortly be
available in Dutch
Koen and his mother Ine have written a book in his native Dutch
about last year's Tour. The 2013 edition of the Tour de France is
described from various angles in the book. Ine de Kort has written
a personal report of the 100th edition of the Tour giving an
insight into how as parents they experience their son's
participation. Koen gives a short daily report of each stage. The
two reports, together with various photos, are intertwined as the
race evolves, sometimes supporting one another and sometimes
The book gives a nice look into the Tour de France and how a
family of a professional experiences the performances of their son
and his team. A mix of surprise and admiration as well as a down to
earth look at the 2013 Tour de France.
The book will be available in Dutch and can now be pre-ordered for
delivery in the Netherlands for €15 through a money transfer to
account number NL31 INGB 0003247410 to the account of Ine de Kort,
Liempde. The books will be delivered from the start of March with
Koen's signature included.
Kittel takes the final stage too
The Giant-Shimano team can look back with a lot of satisfaction on
the trip to Europe after Koen's roommate Marcel Kittel won the
fourth and final stage of the Dubai Tour. The German so obtained
three stage wins in a row. Once again Kittel's teammates ensured he
was well placed and he judged when to start his sprint to
perfection. Kittel bested Australian Mark Renshaw and Italian
Andrea Guardini. Koen came home in 47th place.
The overall classification was won by the American Taylor Phinney.
Koen finished the race in 45th place.
Kittel wins third stage after great team
In the third stage of the Dubai Tour, it was some job to bring
Marcel Kittel over the hills in the leading group. Koen and his
teammates did all they could with Koen putting in a killer turn
until five kilometres to go where he delivered Kittel to the
leaders. They got back to the leading group and Kittel and Reinardt
Janse van Rensburg surged ahead in a group of about 35 to the
finish. In a classic sprint with Peter Sagan amongst others, Kittel
blasted out of the group to take the stage win. Rensburg came 5th.
Koen crossed the line in a chase group 36 seconds later in 47th
Kittel wins second stage
Koen's teammate Marcel Kittel won stage two of the Dubai Tour.
After being delivered by his teammates, Kittel outsprinted Slovak
Peter Sagan and Taylor Phinney. Koen crossed the line in 92nd
64th in opening time trial in Dubai
The Dubai Tour kicked off on Wednesday February 5th with a 10
kilometre individual time trial. American Taylor Phinney won the
stage with coming home in 64th place 1'12" down on Phinney.
4th in final stage of Tour Down Under
Koen has finished off the Tour Down Under with a great fourth
place in the final stage. The Giant-Shimano team had actually
planned to set up Marcel Kittel but with only 600 metres to the
line, Koen was told to have a go at it himself. Behind the well
known sprinters André Greipel and Mark Renshaw, Koen came home in
4th place and was able to gain a World Tour point for his team. In
the final classification which was won by Australian Simon Germans,
Koen finished in 96th place.
Click here for an interview with Koen after the race with
You can watch the final kilometre of the stage here.
Queen stage is done and dusted
On Saturday January 25th, the Queen stage of the Tour Down Under
took place. The stage left McLaren Vale to bring the peloton to the
uphill finish on Willunga Hill after 151.6km. Koen rode his own
pace in the heat as for him and most of his teammates, the uphill
finish would not be an opportunity for victory. Koen crossed the
line in 122nd place at 11'32 seconds behind Australian Richie Porte
who celebrated Australia Day with a victory. Porte's compatriot
Gerrans maintains the leaders' jersey with the slender advantage of
a single second over Cadel Evans.
Photo: Koen on the final climb to Willunga Hill (with thanks to
Peloton breaks in two
Friday's stage from Unley to Victor Harbor in the Tour Down Under
was considered as a 148.5 kilometre procession to a mass sprint.
While the day was decided in a mass sprint, it was not disputed by
the entire peloton. The peloton broke in two and sprinter Marcel
Kittel was caught in the second group. Koen and his teammates
worked as hard as they could to bridge up to the first peloton but
could not. Ultimately the group that Koen crossed in the line in
85th place ended the day 14 minutes down on the first group. The
leading group did contain Giant-Shimano's man for GC Geschke.
Geschke managed to stop any time losses to the other GC riders.
Andre Greipel won the stage and Cadel Evans held his lead in the
Marcel Kittel wins the People's Choice
Two days before the kick off of the Tour Down Under, a 50km
criterium took place in the streets of Adelaide, or what appeared
to be more like a big park. This criterium, the People's Choice
Classic, was disputed by the professionals in a high tempo and
ended after just one hour and four minutes when Koen's teammate
Marcel Kittel crossed his front wheel just ahead of his compatriot
André Greipel. Kittel was delivered well by his teammates and made
good use of Greipel's sprint train. Koen crossed the line in the
shrunken peloton of about 70 riders in 42nd place. Kittel delivered
the first win of the season for Giant-Shimano, the new name of the
team. "I'm really impressed by the boys today, they did a great
job. It was a bit hectic in the last two corners before the finish
line and my team did a great job and brought me in a really good
position and from there I was able to go my own way and start the
sprint after the last corner and then it was quite close to the
finish line but I am happy I managed to win."
Tour Down Under awaits the team, teammates arrive in
On the third week of January Koen's teammates arrived in Adelaide,
Australia on Monday while Koen arrived from Melbourne. Despite the
heat, the team trained for a five hours ahead of the Tour Down
Under which starts on Sunday January 19th.
Giant new sponsor team Giant-Shimano
Taiwanees bycicle manufacturer Giant has taken on the sponsorship
of the 1t4i project together with co-sponsor Shimano. Former
sponsor Argos dropped out in the last quarter of 2013 without any
official reason towards the press. Giant will sponsor the Dutch
based cyclingteam for a period of 4 years.
On to and including 2015 with
If it had ever been any doubt over the fact of whether Koen would
be riding next year by Argos-Shimano, than an end came on Friday
October 11th. The team announced that Koen, along with his
teammates Tom Veelers, Albert Timmer and Johannes Fröhlinger would
be contracted to and including 2015. Next to his valuable strength
in the sprint train of sprinters Marcel Kittel, John Degenkolb and
Luka Mezgec Koen will aim for his own success in the spring
Koen brakes his collarbone in Hamburg, teammate
Degenkolb takes the victory
On Sunday August 25th only an hours racing left, Koen crashed in
the Vattenfall Cyclassics. Koen broke his left collarbone and will
consequently be out of competition for some time. In the spring of
this year, Koen already broke his right collarbone and was operated
on. It is still unclear if Koen will have an operation this time.
The German classic ended after 246 kilometres in a mass sprint that
was won by Koen's teammate John Degenkolb. Degenkolb withheld his
compatriot Andre Greipel and Norwegian Kristoff.
During the Tour de France Koen wrote a daily Blog
about the Tour for Financial Review. All the entries you can read
Eneco Tour ends, Dumoulin finishes second
The ultimate stage on Sunday brought the peloton from Tienen to
Geraardsbergen over 208 kilometres and Koen's job was to stay with
Dumoulin. A kink in the armour came just before Tenbosse with about
50 kilometres to go when Koen punctured. It cost Koen much energy
to come back to the peloton. After that Koen managed to stay for a
good ten kilometres at the front and after that it was Dumoulin,
who was safely in Stybar's wheel, responsible for himself. When
Stybar attacked on the penultimate climb, Dumoulin couldn't answer
the acceleration. Stybar caught Briton Ian Stannard who was leading
in the stage and the two rode together to Geraardsbergen where the
former cyclocross world champion from the Czech Republic won the
stage and the general classification with an advantage of 26
seconds on Dumoulin who still obtained a great result. Koen, who
crossed the line in 51st place at 4.37", ended the race in 66th
overall, 24'51" down.
Teammate Tom Dumoulin takes the race lead
On the queen stage of the Eneco Tour, the Argos-Shimano managed to
wrestle the race lead as the peloton made their way from Riemst to
Aywaille over 150 kilometres. It was Tom Dumoulin who took a fine
fourth place after an excellent race to take the jersey from Lars
Boom. It did not go easy, however, as with 65 kilometres to go,
Dumoulin hit the deck and lost contact with the depleted peloton.
Koen buried himself in the task for Dumoulin and rode his heart out
for 25 kilometres as he described afterwards. Dumoulin was able to
eventually bridge up and even went on the attack. Koen ended the
day in 69th place, 15'38" down. Tomorrow's stage it was be up to
Dumoulin to guard his leader's jersey in the final stage from
Tienen to Geraardsbergen of which he has a nine second advantage
over Czech Zdenek Stybar.
Photo: Dumoulin, Degenkolb and De Kort during the 6th stage of the
Eneco Tour (with thanks to Cor Vos)
57th in time trial
In Friday's 13 kilometre time trial from Sittard to Geleen, Koen
came 57th. French time trial champion Sylvain Chavanel took the
victory. Koen's teammate Tom Dumoulin rode a great time trial to
finish in second place, four seconds down on Chavanel. Dumoulin is
now third in the overall classification, eight seconds down on Lars
Boom who holds on to the leaders' jersey with a four second
advantage over Chavanel. The Argos-Shimano team will do everything
they can in the two coming days to support Dumoulin in taking a
137th in stage through Brabant after crash
The fourth stage of the Eneco Tour on Thursday August 15th was
almost completely on Brabant soil. While the stage did start in
Belgium's Essen, only several kilometres later the peloton crossed
the border into Brabant for a 169.6 kilometre race to Vlijmen. The
stage ended up being a mass sprint from a depleted peloton without
Koen who was held up by a crash, which also involved sprinter
Marcel Kittel, finishing three minutes down in 137th place. John
Degenkolb was the best classified Argos-Shimano rider with 13th
place in the sprint.
Three riders evade the mass sprint
In the finale of the third stage of the Eneco Tour from Oosterhout
to Brouwersdam over 187.3 kilometres, four riders escaped in the
final kilometre on the Brouwersdam in Zeeland, of which three
managed to hold their ground. Zdenek Stybar won the stage ahead of
the chasing peloton containing Koen, who came in 63rd on the
Tough finish in second stage
The second stage of the Eneco Tour on Tuesday August 13th from
Ardooie to Vorst took the peloton 176.9 kilometres. As the final
kilometre was uphill, the stage did not end in a mass sprint for
the sprinters. It was Frenchman Arnoud Démare who took the stage
win. Koen brought John Degenkolb to the front in the final
kilometres. However Degenkolb did not have the strength to sprint
with the best and finished in the first group in 70th place, 12
seconds down. Koen crossed the line in 85th place, 38 seconds
Renshaw surprises the sprinters at the Eneco
From August 12th to the 18th Koen will take part in the Eneco
Tour. The first stage went from Koksijde to Ardooie over 175.3
kilometres and was won by Australian Mark Renshaw. Renshaw was
riding as a lead out man for the Belkin sprint train with 1.5
kilometres to go when he got a gap on the peloton when his sprinter
Theo Bos let a gap go. Renshaw delivered a great surprise by
managing to stay out of the grasp of the peloton crossing the line
a slender two seconds ahead of the sprinting peloton. Koen was
7th in Surhuisterveen
In the professionals' criterium of Surhuisterveen on Tuesday July
30th, Koen obtained a 7th place. Bauke Mollema took the victory
ahead of Tour winner Christophe Froome.
11th in Steenwijk
In the professionals' criterium in Steenwijk on Saturday July
27th, Koen came 11th. Laurens ten Dam won the race ahead of
Portugal's double Tour de France stage winner Rui Costa.
3rd in Heerlen
On Friday evening July 26th Koen took a third in the professionals
criterium in Heerlen. With ten of the fifteen laps remaining, Koen
broke away with six others from the peloton. With four laps to go,
Koen and his teammate Tom Dumoulin and Lars Boom got away from
their breakaway companions. Koen and his teammate were unable to
drop Boom and in the sprint Boom won ahead of Dumoulin and
In the preliminary selection for the Tour of
Argos-Shimano announced on Friday July 26th that Koen is in the
preliminary selection for the Tour of Spain (Vuelta) which begins
on Saturday August 24th and concludes on Sunday September 15th. In
addition to Koen the selection conains Nikias Arndt (Germany),
Warren Barguil (France), Will Clarke (Austalia), Johannes
Fröhlinger (Germany), Thierry Hupond (France), Reinardt Janse van
Rensburg (South Africa), François Parisien (France), Tom Peterson
(USA), Georg Preidler (Austria), and compatriots Ramon Sinkeldam
and Tom Stamsnijder. Three riders will not be selected from the
twelve. The selection consists of young riders some of which will
make their debut in a grand tour. In the case that Koen makes the
final selection, he will become one of the few riders who will ride
the three big tours this year (Giro, Tour and Vuelta).
Sprint train in Chaam
In the '8 van Chaam' on Wednesday July 14th, the Argos Shimano
sprint train was back at its best. And just like in the Tour,
Marcel Kittel won the '8 van Chaam' ahead of the van Poppel
brothers. Koen crossed the line in 11th place.
Exclusive coverage of the Argos-Shimano team after the
stage win in Paris
After stage winner Marcel Kittel was honoured, he returned to the
team bus where he and his teammates celebrated the victory with a
party. Underneath you can see images from it.
Marcel Kittel wins the final stage on the
After brilliant work from Argos-Shimano, Marcel Kittel won the
final stage of the Tour de France. Kittel was brought to the front
in the final kilometres and it was Koen who was the first to go
through the final crucial corner to put in the little drill that
launched Kittel perfectly to the victory. Kittel sprinted out of
his skin ahead of his compatriot Andre Greipel and Manxman and four
time winner on the Champs-Élysées Mark Cavendish. Kittel held on
and obtained with a wheel's advantage his fourth stage win in this
Tour and made the successful Tour of the Argos team even
"What an amazing Tour de France and a great way to finish
it. Incredibly happy with the teamwork, my leadout and stage win by
75th in final mountain stage
On the final mountain stage starting in Annecy and finishing in
Annecy - Semnoz after 125 kilometres, Koen came 75th. The victory
went to Colombian Nairo Quintana who broke away from Spaniard
Joaquin Rodriguez and Briton Christopher Froome. Quintana and
Rodriguez climbed up in the overall stands, leapfrogging Spaniard
Alberto Contador while Froome was unthreatened and held on to his
advantage of five minutes on Quintana. With only the concluding
stage to Paris left, Koen is in 138th place in the general
78th in penultimate mountain stage
On Friday July 19th a very tough mountain stage awaited the Tour
peloton going from Bourg-d'Oisans to Le Grand-Bornand over a
distance of 204.5 kilometre. The stage began with two climbs of
hors categorie, first the Col du Glandon followed by the Col de la
Madeleine. Later on in the stage there were more climbs, one first
category and one second category. During the first climb, a big
group managed to break away from the peloton with Koen's teammates
Tom Dumoulin and Simon Geschke while behind in the peloton a rigid
pace was set for the whole day up until the final climb. Koen
stayed for much time in the peloton and ultimately finished the
stage in 78th place at 27'19" down on stage winner Portuguese Rui
Costa. Dumoulin and Geschke crossed the line in 13th and 14th place
72nd in stage to the Alpe d'Huez
Koen crossed the line in 72nd place on the stage from Gap to the
Alpe d'Huez. Koen was in the first big group which after the second
climb of the Alpe d'Huez came home 26'10" down on stage winner
Christophe Riblon after the 172.5 kilometre stage.
156th in mountain time trial
On Wednesday July 17th Koen ended the individual time trial from
Embrun to Chorges over 32 kilometres in 156th place. Koen finished
7'26" down on Christophe Froome.
127th in first stage after the rest day
The first stage after the rest day took the peloton from Vaison La
Romaine to Gap over 168 kilometres. It was the stage where Koen's
teammate Tom Dumoulin had a free card. Dumoulin grabbed the chance
with both legs and managed to join the definitive break of the day.
A group of twenty six managed to get away from the peloton. On the
finale climb, a second category, the summit being 11.5 kilometres
from the end of the stage, Portugal's Rui Alberto Costa broke away
from dwindling group and crossed the summit alone. He held his
advantage and won the stage. Behind his Tom Dumoulin rode strongly
to a fine 6th place 1'00" down on Costa. Koen crossed the line in
the big bus in 127th place at 21'46" behind Costa.
A man true to his word
On the second rest day Koen had to surrender up his long
locks.After a lost bet with Marcel Kittel, Koen had to get the
'Kittel cut.' See the result underneath.
Watch here a video of the haircuts of the
Argos-Shimano riders of the Tour. This video was the trigger for
the bet with Marcel Kittel.
102th in the first Alpen stage
On Sunday July 14th, the first mountain stage took the peloton
from Givors to the Mont Ventoux where Koen crossed the line in
102nd place. Koen was in the first bus which crossed the line
27'38" down on stage winner Christopher Froome. Froome increased
his advantage in the general classification on Bauke Mollema. All
nine riders from Argos-Shimano came in on time. Monday will be a
"Really fast race but what a fantastic final climb. I enjoyed all
the supporters who encouraged us along. I know for short that I'll
suffer from hearing loss after it," Koen said.
Koen's new haircut
Despite this photograph looking fake and clearly photoshoped, this
is supposed to be what Koen's new haircut will look like after the
lost bet with Marcel Kittel (with thanks to Cor Vos).
In contrast to a day earlier, Saturday's 14th stage from
Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule to Lyon over 191km was a relatively
restful stage. After several skirmishese at the start of the stage,
a group of 18 managed to break clear and were allowed some space
from the peloton as no general classification contenders were among
them. Argos-Shimano was represented with Simon Geschke. Geschke
ultimately sprinted to 7th place behind Italian Matteo Trentin.
Koen crossed the line in the peloton at 7'17" in 95th place.
"Sagan clearly didn't want to win and his team were rather aloof
and as we had Simon up the road it ended up being a relatively
restful stage for us. That's not bad considering tomorrow's long
stage which will finish on the Ventoux."
Unexpected turn on stage 13
The 13th stage of the 100th edition of the Tour will be written
down in history as one of the biggest battles. Firstly a move by
Quickstep during the 173 kilometre stage from Tours to
Saint-Armand-Montrond the race took on an unexpected turn of events
when a large number of riders were dropped. Unfortunately Kittel
was dropped due to a mechanical. When the Belkin team went to the
front because the number two in the general classification Valverde
was caught behind, the chances of Kittel making it back were
dashed. Koen and his teammates Veelers and Degenkolb were well
placed ahead. Unfortunately Team Saxo destroyed the peloton with
the result being a group of 14 getting away which general
classification leader Chris Froome missed. Froome and his
teammates were unable to close the gap. Koen crossed the line in
24th place in the first big group. Mark Cavendish won the
Unique footage of Koen and Marcel Kittel after the finish of stage
Via www.bicycling.com we have the following footage of Marcel
Kittel as he thanks Koen for his work and when Koen hears that
Kittel won. In addition there is an interview with Koen.
Third stage win for the team: Kittel wins
The success just keeps coming for the Argos-Shimano team. On
Thursday July 11th, Marcel Kittel obtained his third stage win in
the Tour de France. Due to Tom Veelers' crash, he was not yet
recovered to resume his role as final lead out man for Kittel,
Kittel asked Koen if he would take over the responsibility. At the
end of the 218 kilometer stage from Fougères to Tours, teammates
Roy Curvers and John Degenkolb made sure Koen would enter the final
corner in first place with Kittel in his wheel. Koen launched while
Gert Steegmans from Quickstep, working for Cavendish, took over.
Kittel took Cavendish's wheel and managed to overhaul the Manxman
just on the line. Koen crossed the line in 25th place.
Photo: Koen and Kittel hug after the third stage win by
148th in time trial, teammate Dumoulin surprises with
The first individual time trial of this year's Tour de France took
place on Wednesday July 10th with a 33 kilometer test from
Avranches to Mont-Saint-Michel. Koen came 148th in this time trial,
finishing 5'15" after stage winner and world time trial champion
Tony Martin. Koen's teammate Tom Dumoulin surprised with a great
ninth place, 1'45" down on Martin.
Once again a great success for Argos-Shimano: Marcel
Kittel wins 10th stage
After Marcel Kittel won the first stage of the Tour, he showed
himself once again to be the fastest on the first day of the second
week of the Tour in a mass sprint. Monday's rest day was followed
on Tuesday by a 197 kilometre stage from Saint-Gildas-des-Bois to
Saint-Malo. After Mark Cavendish banged into Kittel's lead out man
Tom Veelers, causing him to crash, Marcel Kittel and his compatriot
fought out the sprint between them, with Kittel coming out on top.
Cavendish crossed the line in third place. Luckily Veelers did not
suffer any broken bones in the crash but did sustain some road
rash. Koen crossed the line in 112th place 1'23" down with roommate
John Degenkolb. The order of the sprint train was Roy Curvers,
Koen, Degenkolb, Veelers and Kittel.
Photo: Marcel Kittel(right) beats Andre Greipel and takes the
second stage win for Argos-Shinano (with thanks to Cor
Got through the second mountain stage
The tough second mountain stage in the Tour, which went from
Saint-Girons to Bagnères-de-Bigorre over 168.5 kilometers, turned
out well for Koen. "At the start of the stage it was quite tough,
but it went better later on and we ended up in a bug group riding
to the finish in Bagnères-de-Bigorre," Koen said after taking a
flight for the 800 kilometer bus transfer to Saint-Nazzaire. Koen
crossed the line in 146th place at 26'20" behind Irishman Daniel
Martin who won the stage.
First mountain stage safe in the bus
Koen crossed the line safely in the bus in 153rd place at 31'15"
behind stage winner Christopher Froome who won the first mountain
stage from Castres to Ax 3 Domaines. The sprinters from
Argos-Shimano, Kittel and Degenkolb, crossed the line with Koen.
The stage went to a high point of the Tour with the Col de
Pailhères with the summit being at 2001 metres height.
"Today went fairly well but it was not really tough today," Koen
said afterwards. "But tomorrow will be something else given the
profile from Saint-Girons to Bagnères-de-Bigorre which is 168.5km
with five climbs, four of which are first category."
A great second place for roommate Degenkolb, Koen
Despite possible swearing in German that Koen may hear from his
German roommate this evening, John Degenkolb will be able to look
back on a great stage. The stage did not go according to plan for
Koen given that he didn't have the legs he had hoped for. The stage
from Montpellier to Albi took the peloton over 205.5 kilometers and
was regarded as a transitional stage. The climb of the Col des 13
Vents was dictated by the Cannondale team of green jersey holder
Peter Sagan and this proved to be the main point of the stage. Many
riders including Koen were dropped on the climb. Normally this
would not be any problem given the 100 kilometers remaining in the
stage but the Cannondale team saw their chance with the
intermediary sprint and the final stage win and kept the tempo
high. Despite several attempts from Argos-Shimano and other
sprinters teams, the gap could not be closed. With about 40
kilometers to go, the teams conceded the game was up. John
Degenkolb did however manage to make the cut to stay with the first
peloton and he was supported by Tom Dumoulin and other teammates to
sprint to an excellent second place. Koen crossed the line in 115th
place, 14'53" down.
Kittel sprints to third place, Koen 135th
As expected, thursday's stage from Aix en Provence to Montpellier
ended after 176.5 kilometers in a mass sprint. The riders from
Argos-Shimano did everything they could to deliver Marcel Kittel to
the finish. Unfortunately it didn't work out to perfection and it
was German Andre Greipel who after an excellent lead out from his
teammates won the stage ahead of Slovak Sagan and Kittel. Koen
crossed the line just after the peloton in 135th place.
Beginning to get better
At the end of the stage from Cagnes sur Mer to Marseille after
228.5 kilometers, Koen was able to report that things were going
better. Koen even rode a considerable portion at the head of the
peloton during the stage in pursuit of the breakaway attempt of the
day. The breakaway was caught but unfortunately Koen's teammate
Marcel Kittel was not able to sprint for the stage win because he
fell before the finale. Koen crossed the line with several
teammates including Kittel at 10'08" in 188th place. Briton Mark
Cavendish took the victory and in doing so won his 25th stage at
the Tour de France.
22nd place in team time trial
Team Argos-Shimano came 22nd in the fourth stage of the Tour de
France, a 25 kilometer team time trial. The team conceded 1'47" to
Orica-Greenedge who won the stage with a time of 25'26". With the
stage win with his team, Australian Simon Gerrans took the lead in
the general classification.
Asked about the team time trial and that the team crossed the
line together, Koen answered: "Today went well, we rode the
stage relatively easily... I don't feel sick anymore but the legs
aren't yet as good as they should be."
Photo: Koen was visited by good friend Superbike race
Jonathan Rea (thanks to Cor Vos)
Relatively restful third stage
The third stage contained several climbs with a second category
climb coming toward the end of the stage; the top of the climb was
13 kilometers from the finish in Calvi. Koen's role in the stage
was to stay with Marcel Kittel. Kittel won the first first
intermediary sprint agains the other sprinters behind the five
breakaway riders but he still lost the green jersey to Slovak Peter
Sagan who survived the climb and came a close second to Australian
Simon Gerrans, one of Koen's friends, who won the stage. Koen
crossed the line after the 145.5km stage together with Kittel in
180th place, 9'15" down. Teammate Tom Dumoulin almost pulled off a
wonderful performance when he broke away with three kilometers to
go. With only 500 metres to go, he was caught by the sprinting
"I feel better today than yesterday," Koen said in the evening
from Nice, once back to the mainland of France. "I suffered and
Second category mountain foils the team, Kittel goes
from Yellow to Green
The second category climb on the stage from Bastia to Ajaccio was
too much for the riders of Argos-Shimano. All of the team had to
let the peloton go and most of the team, including Koen, stayed
with yellow jersey wearer Marcel Kittel who crossed the line 17'35"
down on stage winner Jan Bakelants. By taking two points in the
first intermediary sprint, Kittel leads the points classification
with 47 points and will wear the green jersey during Monday's third
"Today just didn't go well", Koen said from Corsica. "I have
already been sick for a few days and I'm getting better but I
notice that I'm short on power for climbing. Hopefully tomorrow
will be better."
Wonderful begin to the Tour de France: Kittel wins the
stage and takes the yellow jersey
The Tour could not have started any better for Argos-Shimano.
Marcel Kittel won the first stage in Corsica and immediately became
the first wearer of the yellow jersey in the 100th Tour de France.
Koen, who was held up with several other teammates by a crash with
6.5 kilometers to go, crossed the line in 53rd place. Like his
teammates Koen was absolutely delighted with the win of his
"This is simply fantastic and unbelievable. It was so hectic! I
have never experienced a sprint like this, but luckily everyone
stayed calm and we avoided the big crash," Koen said. "It's great
to see that everyone believed in this win, and we were all really
focused during the race. In the end, it was our experience that
made the difference - everyone knows each other really well and
we've worked together for a long time, so even if it was as hectic
as today we stayed calm and relaxed, and we could work as a train.
It's an unforgettable moment."
Photo: Marcel Kittel wins the first stage (with thanks to Cor
Photo: the riders celebrate the victory during the evening
meal with champagne (with thanks to Ad Pertijs)
|In the Tour on time with Invicta
Time plays a massive role in cycling and the riders don't want to
be late at all during the race. Koen won't have any problem in that
regard as during this Tour he has a great Invicta watch as well as
an iBraCe armband. This is all thanks to Wim van Buul from Invicta
Watch Europe and Anny van Buul jewelers.
Koen, accompanied by his father, received the watch and arm bank
from Wim van Buul the day af the national championships in Limburg.
On wednesday June 26th Koen travelled to the French island of
Corisca where he will line up for the first stage of the Tour de
France on Saturday June 29th. The coming weeks we will keep you
posted on Koen's performances and that of his teammates, along with
commentary from Koen if it is available.
Pulled out of the national championships
The Dutch national championships road race on Sunday June 23rd in
Kerkade did not unfold as hoped for Koen. While last year he took
10th place after a hunger knock, this year Koen had to pull out
early. Koen's teammate Tom Dumoulin was the man in form. The young
man from Limburg took a splendid second place behind new national
champion Johnny Hoogerland. "It didn't go too bad but not as well
as expected," Koen said. "In the end I rode full blast for Dumoulin
and after that I dropped out of the race when I was in a group
riding for 20th place."
The Belgian one day race Halle-Ingooigen was Koen's first race
after the Giro d'Italia. For Argos-Shimano, the team plan for to
have someone present in a breakaway and to play the card of Mezgec
for a sprint finish. Teammates Ramon Sinkeldam and Will Clark were
part of the break of twelve. The group could not stay away and
after 197.4 kilometers the race was decided in a mass sprint. The
lead out for team sprinter Luka Mezgec by Koen, who earlier had a
flat tyre but somehow managed to come back to the peloton and pull
off a lead out. Mezgec was unfortunately beaten by a tyres width by
Belgian Kenny Dehaes. This became apparent after the photo finish
was studied. Koen crossed the line himself in 45th place.
Complete Tour team announced
On Tuesday June 18th, Team Argos-Shimano announced who the nine
riders who would start the 2013 Tour de France would be. In
addition to Koen, German sprinters Marcel Kittel and John
Degenkolb, compatriots Roy Curvers, Albert Timmer and Tour rookies
Tom Dumoulin and German Duitsers Johannes Fröhlinger and Simon
Geschke will make their appearance. The team will aim for a stage
win and on the flat stages will work for Kittel, for slightly
harder finishes the card of Degenkolb will be played with aim for
the rest of the stages being to be present in a breakaway.
Training in Zandvoort
On Monday June 17th the Argos-Shimano team trained on the
Zandvoort circuit to practice the sprint train for the coming Tour
de France. Koen was part of the training.
In the photograph underneath, Koen leads the group at the
circuit at Zandvoort
Photo from the Giro
During the Giro, John Raeskin took this photograph with Koen when
his family members (with Koen's father second from left) visited
him at a stage.
"He asked...., I said YES"
Those were the words the girlfriend of Koen, Kaitlin, wrote on
Facebook on Monday night together with the picture below. The
engaged couple is currently on holiday in Morocco.
Koen closes off the Giro with a 39th place in the final
stage, 78th in overall
On Sunday May 26th the Giro d'Italia concluded with a 197
kilometer stage from Riese Pio X to Brescia. A stage that everyone
knew would end up, like in the final stages of the other grand
tours like the Tour or the Vuelta, with a mass sprint. For team
Argos-Shimano the plan was to keep their sprinter Mezgec at the
front and to deliver him for a nice result. Mezgec ultimately
sprinted to fifth place behind Manxman Mark Cavendish who won his
fifth stage in this Giro. Koen crossed the line in 39th place and
came 78th in the overall classification.
This was Koen's sixth Grand Tour. He rode out the Giro in 2006
aswell, the Tour de France he finished in 2009 and in 2012 and the
Vuelta in 2011 and 2012.
Final mountain stage over with
The final mountain stage of the Giro did not escape the weather en
route from Silandro to Tri Cime Di Lavaredo. Several of the climbs
were taken off the route resulting in the final twenty kilometers
containing the only two climbs. Koen came over the line in 80th
place in this final mountain stage at 11'25" behind general
classification leader Vincenzo Nibali who showed his supremacy of
this year's Giro by winning the final mountain stage.
Photo: Koen in the snow during the final climb (with thanks to Cor
Unexpected rest day
Due to the heavy snow fall the much anticipated stage on Friday
May 24th from Ponte di Legno to Val Martello over 138km was
cancelled. The climbs were impassable for the peloton and the
entire race caravan to come through. Consequently the riders were
transported with the bus to the destination and ended up having an
extra rest day.
This was followed by news that Saturday's stage was changed.
Several climb have been taken out of the race route with the stage
now seeing a very long lead up to and the conclusion of the stage
with two final climbs.
98th in mountain time trial
On Thursday May 23rd, Koen obtained a 98th place in the 20.6
kilometer mountain time trial from Mori to Polsa. He finished 5'44"
behind stage winner and overall leader Vincenzo Nibali who won with
a time of 44'29".
Teammate Mezgec again 3rd, Koen 51st
The 17th stage took the peloton over 203km from Caravaggio to
Brescia and it was the stage that the riders of Argos-Shimano had
set their sights on. For Koen it was a stage to attack and if that
did not work, to work for sprinter Mezgec during the final climb to
set him up for a chance of the stage win. When no Argos-Shimano
rider managed to join the breakaway of the day, the team set about
pursuing the break with Mark Cavendish's Quickstep team. The
breakaway was caught but Italian Giovanni Visconti broke away on
the final climb. Despite the chasers working, Visconti stayed away.
He won the stage with an advantage of 19 seconds over a group of 39
riders with Mezgec, who survived the climb and sprinted to third
place. Koen crossed the line in a group with Cavendish amongst
others, in 51st place at 1'37".
Thursday's stage is a mountain time trial from Mori to Polsa over
Koen starts the final week with 44th place
Tuesday's stage on May 21st started in Valloire and ended in Ivrea
238 kilometers later. The stage contained a early first category
climb occurring after 55 kilometers followed much later by a third
category climb where the summit was 25 kilometers from the finish.
Koen tried to stay with the peloton for as long as possible with an
eye on a satisfactory placing. Unfortunately the pace was to hot or
the climb too long to stay with the leaders. Koen crossed the line
in 44th place at 3'31" of Spaniard Benati Intxausti who won the
Photo: Koen before the start of the 16th stage (with thanks to
Second week in the Giro finished
With a place in the big bus of 76 riders in the stage from Cesana
Torinese to the Col du Galibier, Koen has finished the second week
of the Giro. Much of the riders in the bus treated the stage as a
prelude to the rest day on Monday and climbed the Galibier at a
relatively gentle place. For the statistics: Koen crossed the line
in 114th place at 27'54" after the stage winner.
Got through mountain stage despite tough conditions
The 14th stage from Cervere to Bardonecchia over 181 km saw the
riders take on cold, wet and misty conditions. But due to his years
of experience, Koen was perfectly dressed and he was able to stay
with the slowing shrinking peloton for much time. Ultimately Koen
crossed the line in 72nd place which was ten minutes behind stage
winner Italian Mauro Santambrogio for Vini Fantini who climbed the
final climb together with classification leader Vincenzo Nibali.
The big bus crossed the line after 20 minutes.
Sunday's stage is planned to be shortened due to snow. The stage
goes from Cesana Torinese to the Col du Galibier and the riders
will likely finish on the Galibier.
Koen delivers Mezgec well in the finale ahead ending up
in a fine third place
Despite there being a climb at the end of the longest, 254
kilometer, stage of the Giro d'Italia from Busseto to Cherasco, the
stage still ended in a mass sprint as after the climb there was a
descent of seven kilometers. Several breakaway riders were caught
under impuse of the riders of the sprinters team. Koen delivered
his teammate Luka Mezgec to the wheel of the Mark Cavendish just
inside the final kilometer. In the sprint Mezgec followed Cavendish
and obtained a third place, just as he did a day earlier. Koen
crossed the line in 73rd.
Good day for Argos-Shimano
The relatively short stage on Thursday May 16th from Longarone to
Treviso turned out to be a good day for Argos-Shimano despite the
rain. Belgian Bert De Backer was part of the breakaway of five
which was unfortunately caught in sight of the finish with just 500
meteres to go. In the final sprint Luka Mezgec took a fine third
place. Koen was part of the first group of 90 riders and crossed
the line in 58th place.
Tried to join the break of the day
Wedesday's stage contained the final mountain stage for the time
being. Koen tried at the start of the stage to break away from the
peloton in order to reach the final climb to the finish with some
advantage. Unfortunately he did not succeed but his teammate
Patrick Gretsch did manage to join 19 others. Gretsch even went on
the attack after the summit of the first climb. Gretsch was
unfortunately caught on the final climb and ended the stage in 17th
place. Koen crossed the line in 90th place at 10'32".
After the rest day, tuesday's stage from Cordenons to Altopiano
del Montasio over 167km awaited the peloton. The stage contained
two first category climbs with the finish at the top of the second
climb of the day, the Altopiano del Montasio. Koen got through the
day well and crossed the line in a big group in 73rd place at
20'53" behind Columbian stage winner Rigoberto Uran from Sky Pro
Cycling. The next bus crossed the line 28 minutes down on Uran.
Koen was particularly happy with the fact that the whole stage
Got through mountain stage
On Sunday May 12th a mountain stage from Sansepolcro to Firenze
over 181 kilometers awaited Koen and the peloton. Koen got through
this stage, which was marked by much rainfall, in the gruppetto
crossing the line in 113th place at 17'23" from the stage winner.
Koen's teammate Tobias Ludvigsson maintained his good form and took
a great fourth place. .
Painful, long and boring
With the words painful, long and boring Koen described his time
trial on Saturday May 11th in the Giro. The 54.8 kilometer test
against the clock was won by British time trial champion Alex
Through stage 7 unscathed
Koen has got through the 177 kilometer stage from Marina di San
Salvo to Pescara well. He had a great day in that he did not hit
the deck once which was a win itself seen the slippery course in
the finale. In addition to that, his legs felt better and that
gives much courage for the coming days. Koen stayed for a long time
with the main peloton and ultimately ended the day in 81st place at
6'01" from Australian Adam Hansen who survived from the early break
to take the stage. Hansen had an advantage of a minute crossing the
line of the first group of about thirty riders with the main
favourites for the overall.
Failed sprint train in stage 6
"Can't say I'm too happy with how that worked out for us in the
sprint today. At least there is a lot of room for improvement."
These were the cynical words of Koen after the sixth stage from
Mola di Bari to Magherita di Savoia over 169 kilometers which had
been tipped as a stage for sprinters beforehand. The work of the
Argos-Shimano riders during the stage was not rewarded due to a
poorly executed finish. Degenkolb sprinted to 18th place while
Manxman Mark Cavendish took his second stage win. Koen crossed the
line shortly after Degenkolb in 25th place.
John Degenkolb wins fifth stage
Argos-Shimano have tasted their first success in the Giro. John
Degenkolb won Wednesday's stage on May 8th from Cosenza to Montera
over a distance of 203 kilometers. The finale contained two short
climbs. Argos-Shimano worked on the front for the whole day
ensuring that the breakaways would be caught in time. With a tough
climb at about 20 kilometers remaining, the team needed to keep
Degenkolb at the front making sure he would go to the finish in the
leading group, and that worked well. Koen, along with among others
including top sprinter Mark Cavendish, was dropped on the climb.
Koen had already made an important contribution to the team by
improvising with who Degenkolb would go to the finish with.
Teammate Luka Mezgec was to be the lead out man. Just before the
final corner with still a kilometer to go, Degenkolb lost contact
with the back wheel of Mezgec. In hindsight this proved to be a
good omen as on the slippery surface, Mezgec slipped out from
second position behind Italian Marco Canola and came down, with
Degenkolb narrowing evading the crash with an artful display of
steering and some suffering to boot. Degenkolb looked around and
realised that he was alone behind Canola. It was a question of
giving it everything to catch Canola. Degenkolb gave it his all and
succeeded in catching the Italian with 150 meters to go to the
line, overtaking him and thereby taking his first win of the
season, and some one at that. Koen crossed the line in 133rd place
Watch here the final kilometer:
Fourth stage delivers hard finale for classification
The stage from Policastro Bussentino to Serro San Bruno over 246
kilometer finished just after the top of a second category climb.
As the classification riders were on their heels, it was destined
to be a tough finale and a stage that sprinters would likely not
contest. Koen, who went through almost half of the stage on a flat
tyre, stayed with the first group for much time before letting the
group go in the finale. He crossed in a small group in 101st place
Wednesday's stage has an interesting looking stage on the
programme taking the peloton 203 kilometers from Cosenza to Montera
with the finale containing two short climbs. Once again a stage
unlikely to end in a mass sprint but not a stage either that
classification riders will be able to rid themselves of the
majority of the peloton.
Third stage tougher than expected
The third stage of the Giro on Monday May 6th did not go as
expected. Whilst the start of the stage was easier, the end turned
out to be tougher than expected. The two climbs in the final hour
were used by the classification contenders to create gaps in the
general classification. The final climb was, according to Koen,
"too long, too hard, too fast or all of the above." Either way it
was not a stage for sprinters. Koen crossed the line in the peloton
in 104th place, 8'07" down on Italian Luca Paolini who took the
stage 16 seconds ahead of sixteen which contained many GC
Tuesday's stage brings the peloton over 246 kilometers from
Policastro Bussentino to Serro San Bruno with a tough final which
finishes shortly after the top of a second category
Last in team time trial without stress
The Argos-Shimano team took 23rd place, or last, in the team time
trial on Sunday May 5th over 17.4 kilometers. Sky Pro Cycling took
the victory. As Argos-Shimano have no rider ear marked for a
classification assault, there was little incentive for more for the
team. Koen finished the time trial with a flattening tyre.
First stage not according to plan
The plan for the first stage of the Giro d'Italia was set but in
the finale, in the streets of Naples, things did not go as planned.
The riders lost contact with one another and consequently ended up
being to far behind to place John Degenkolb for the sprint. The
riders from teams like Cannondale and GreenEdge kept the pace high
at the front. When a crash occurred at about tenth place in the
peloton, it was clear that the stage winner would come from the
first ten. Manxman Mark Cavendish won the stage, sprinting out from
behind to better Italian Elia Viviani. Degenkolb sprinted 18
seconds later to first of the chasers to 11th place. Koen crossed
the line in 68th place.
Kittel takes the final stage too
Marcel Kittel has been able to finish off the Tour of Turkey by
taking out the final 121 kilometer stage in Istanbul. The
Argos-Shimano team delivered Kittel perfectly to the front who kept
cool when he was closed in momentarily in the sprint, finding his
way out to sprint to the win ahead of Italian Guardini and Briton
Fenn. Koen crossed the line in 56th. The final general
classification was won by Turk Mustafa Sayar. Koen finished 45th
Watch underneath the final three kilometers of the concluding
Kittel wins his second stage after great work from
On Saturday April 27th Marcel Kittel won the penultimate stage of
the Tour of Turkey. After a leading group of six were caught after
work by Argos-Shimano and other teams, a chaotic finale to the 124
kilometer stage from Kusadasi to Izmir ensued. Koen lost contact
with Kittel with three kilometers to go but he managed to find his
German teammate in time and together they got through the final
corner unharmed when several riders hit the ground. Koen was able
to deliver Kittel to fifth place which ended up being a great
positive for the German to launch his winning sprint over Italian
Andrea Guardini and Argentine Maximiliano Richeze Ariel. Koen
crossed the line in 30th.
Watch underneath how Koen and Kittel safely get through the
final corner and Kittel after the win thanks Koen for his work.
Nothing special in stage with uphill
The stage from Bodrum to Selçuk over 183 kilometer on Friday ended
up with an uphill finish. Turk Mustafa Sayarn dropped all his
rivals on the climb and rode alone to the stage win and the
leader's jersey. Koen finished 4'18" after Sayarn in 59th
Another podium finish for Koen's teammate Arndt after
lead out from Koen
The fifth stage took the peloton over 183 kilometers from Marmaris
to Turgutreis over 183 kilometer and quickly contained a leading
group of about 65 riders with Argos-Shimano represented by five,
including Koen. Despite several climbs the leading group stayed
almost intact and Albert Timmer and Koen were able to work for a
sprint from teammate Niki Arndt given his good form and his second
place of a day earlier. After Timmer lead the head of the bunch in
the finale, Koen took up the sprint which caught an attack from
Italian Filippe Pozzato. Unfortunately German sprinter Andre
Greipel was in the group and he sprinted to his second stage win
while Arndt finished behind Italian Matteo Trentin in third place.
Koen crossed the line in 51st.
Teammate Arndt sprints to second place
A climb in the finale of the 147 kilometer stage from Gocek to
Marmaris ensured that the peloton broke in two. Unfortunately Koen
was not in the first group. The first group contained forty riders
with Koen's teammate compatriot Albert Timmer, Frenchman Warren
Baguil and the German Nikias Arndt. With two kilometers to go,
Albert Timmer was at the head of the peloton keeping the pace high
until the final corner. From here on the sprint in the final 400
metres took place and Arndt sprinted to a fine second place behind
his speedy compatriot Andre Greipel. Koen crossed the line in 48th
place in the second group less than 30 seconds later.
"Survived pretty easy in a nice group"
That was how Koen summed up the third (mountain) stage in the Tour
of Turkey. The stage took the peloton 153.5 kilometers from Antalya
to Elmali. Koen crossed the line with teammates Marcel Kittel and
Albert Timmers in 86th place at 12'56" behind Erithean Natnael
Berhane from Europcar who took the stage win and the lead in the
Crash thwarts finale of second stage in
During the second stage of the Tour of Turkey, a massive crash
occurred in the finale with Australian Mark Renshaw hitting the
ground and Koen's teammate Bert de Backer taken down along with
several other riders. As Koen was out of touch with the sprint
train, he was further back in the field and was therefore about to
stop in time before the massive group that came down. Marcel Kittel
was taken down too. As nearly everyone was effected, Koen crossed
the line in 141th place but was classified as the same time as the
stage winner Lithuanian Aidis Kruopis. Kittel is now second in the
general classification in the same time as German compatriot Andre
Griepel who managed to avoid the crash and took third place.
Photo: Koen pushed teammate Marcel Kittel over the line after his
fall in the finale of the second stage (with thanks to Cor Vos)
Marcel Kittel wins first stage in Turkey
The Argos team has started off the Tour of Turkey very well.
Marcel Kittel won Sunday's stage after great team work. Koen lead
out for Kittel and crossed the line in 65th place.
Watch the final kilometers of the stage and see how Argos-Shimano
keep Marcel Kittel at the front of the bunch until the moment when
he can come out of Koen's wheel to launch his sprint.
Amstel Gold Race + Brabants Wielercafé
Koen took part in the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday April 14th but
unfortunately Koen was not able to bring about a better end to this
year's string of spring classics. While the race actually went
better than earlier classics, Koen had the misfortune of being
delayed by several crashes and ultimately was unable to
finish the race.
On Wednesday April 17th, Koen was a guest in the Brabant Cycling
cafe in Oss where he told his story to a sold out hall of
enthusiastic cycling fans.
Photo: Koen during the Amstel Gold Race (with thanks to Cor
Three mechanicals is too much for Koen
The 2013 edition of Paris-Roubaix will be one that Koen will hope
to quickly forget. Even before the second section of cobbles,
Koen's saddle had broken but he was able to continue riding until
his chain got completely stuck and he had to change bike. A 30
kilometer long chase ensued to return to the peloton where a hard
tempo was being set. Just ahead of the notorious forest at Wallers,
he joined a group behind the peloton but then the chain of his
spare bike got stuck. Frustrated, Koen had to quit the race.
Reconnaissance in France
From Thursday onwards Koen has been in France to prepare for
Paris-Roubaix. On Thursday, Koen cycled 90 kilometres of the race
route while on Friday, he will also clock up the necessary
kilometers of the route in the north of France. During the
reconnaissance, Koen explains the best way to ride over the
cobbles. Watch the film here underneath.
95th in Vlaanderen, Degenkolb 9th
On Sunday March 31st, Koen obtained 95th place in the Ronde van
Vlaanderen. Under normal circumstances, Koen would not at all be
happy with such a result but given the set backs over the past
months, he is quite satisfied. Koen's form is on an increasing line
and he has finished his first race since breaking his collarbone.
Teammate John Degenkolb stayed at the front for the whole race and
ultimately took 9th place and netting important World Tour points
for Argos-Shimano. Koen was annoyed that during one of the ascents
of the Oude Kwaremont he was unable to cycle when several riders
ahead of him were unable to stay upright.
Back again in E3 Harelbeke, no
On Friday March 22nd Koen was back in Harelbeke, Belgium for
the World Tour classic E3 Prijs Harelbeke. This was the race last
year, when in great form, Koen hit the group hard and missed the
rest of his spring campaigne. Now Koen lined up in the build up to
good form. It went better in Harelbeke than in Dwars door
Vlaanderen on Wednesday and he was longer in the race than last
year where he crashed out with 50 kilometers to go. Koen didn't
reach the finish but an increasing line is present. In order to
prepare for the Tour of Flanders, Koen will not compete in
Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday but instead he will fly back to Spain on
Saturday where he will aim to clock up the necessary mileage.
No repeat in Dwars door Vlaanderen
Koen dropped out of the classic Dwars door Vlaanderen on Wednesday
March 20th after 100 kilometers, after the second visit through
Waregem. While last year he obtained a magnificent third place,
this year he felt unwell and had to abandon. Koen experienced too
much strain from "dead fingers" obtained when taking part in Milan
- San Remo on treacherous wintry conditions on Sunday. "I suppose
that stopping the circulation on Sunday gave them a considerable
blow. Ah sure that's just part of racing eh," Koen said after.
Heavy snow troubles Milan-San Remo
Milan-San Remo, the first major classic of the season, endured a
difficult edition on March 17th 2013. Due to heavy snow on the
Passo del Turchino, the race was stopped and riders were transfered
in a bus. Between kilometre 117 and 163, the race was neutralized.
In addition to the Turchino, the Mania climb was removed. Instead
of a distance of 298 kilometres, the race was reduced to 240
kilometres. The early breakaway group of six (Matteo Montaguti,
Diego Rosa, Filippo Fortin, Maxim Belkov, Lars Bak and Pablo
Lastras) were the first to board the bus. When the race was
restarted over an hour later, the seven minute lead of the
breakaway was re-enacted. On the bus, a number of riders tweeted
pictures of the miserable wintery conditions to the world. Koen was
numbed with the cold when he boarded the bus. After resumption of
the race, Koen worked for team leader John Degenkolb for much time.
Koen was part of the race until the foot of the Cipressa, the
penultimate climb of the race, after which his work for Degenkolb
was finished. The breakaway of six was caught and on the Cipressa
various riders went on the attack, including Degenkolb. Two riders
stayed away from this leading group who were only caught in the
descent of the final climb, the Poggio, by a chasing group of four
containing favourites Solvak Peter Sagan and Swiss Fabian
Cancellara. However, it was German sprinter Gerald Ciolek who
surprised Sagan to take the win, netting the biggest victory of his
career. On Twitter Koen reflected that he hoped he'd never
have to experience such conditions again but that his form was
Pulled out in torturous mountain stage
Koen did not finish the penultimate stage starting and finishing
in Porte Sant'Elpidio after a loop of 209 kilometres on Monday
March 11th. The stage contained three ascensions of the tough climb
of the Muro di Sant'Elpidio with a gradient of up to 27%. The first
ascension was 70 kilometres into the stage. Koen climbed this wall
once but before he ascended a second time, he held off so as
preserve energy and to focus rather on Milan-San Remo next Sunday.
The stage, described by Swiss Time Trial powerhouse Fabian
Cancellara as being sadomasochist, was won by Slovak Peter Sagan
who won the sprint against Italian Vincenzo Nibali and Spaniard
Withstood the second mountain stage
Just as he did a day earlier with the first mountain stage of
Tirreno-Adriatico, Koen has withstood the second mountain stage
from Ortona to Chieti over 230 kilometres. Spaniard Joaquim
Rodriguez won the stage ahead of Dutchman Bauke Mollema. While
Rodriguez showed himself to be the best climber, Mollema was the
fastest of the five chasers with classification leader Christopher
Froome and Spaniard Alberto Contador. Koen, who found the stage
tough at the start improved as the stage went on, and crossed the
line in a big grupetto or bus of 70 riders in 115th place, 22'18"
down on Rodriguez.
Finished the stage according to plan
The first mountain stage of Tirreno-Adriatico was ahead of the
riders on Saturday March 9th. Given Koen's recovery, the plan for
the stage was simply to get through without any difficulties. The
stage went from Narni to Prati di Tivo over 173 kilometres. It was
Brit Christopher Froome who won the stage solo. Koen crossed the
line in a group at 19'51" in 153rd place. Koen's teammate John
Degenkolb unfortunately had to pull out of the stage with an
In a group to the finish
Koen finised the third stage in a nice group behind the peloton.
Koen and the other riders of the group rode to the finish without
too much pressure on the climb of the finishing lap in the finale
and in the descent in the rain. "It was tough enough," Koen said
afterwards. "I was in a nice group and I finished the stage again.
The weather wasn't our friend today, it rained the whole day." The
stage went from Indicatore to Narni Scalo over 190 kilometres and
finished in a mass sprint that was won by Slovak Peter Sagan ahead
of Manxman Mark Cavendish.
Finished in the peloton
The second stage of Tirreno-Adriatico on Thursday March 7th
finished in a mass sprint. It was Australian Matthew Goss that took
the stage from San Vincenzo to Indicatore over 232 kilometres in
the pouring rain. Koen succeeded in finishing the stage in the
peloton. He crossed the line in 165th place and so clocked up the
230 kilometers race kilometres.
14th in team time trial
The Argos-Shimano formation started Tirreno-Adriatico on Wednesday
March 6th with a 14th place in the team time trail. In the pouring
rain, the team covered the 16.9 kilometer distance from San
Vincenzo to Donoratico in a time of 20'15". That was 51 seconds
slower than the winning time of Omega Pharma-Quickstep of Mark
Cavendish who crossed the line first and took the first leader's
jersey. In his first day racing after his collarbone break, Koen
was not able to stay with his teammates and had to drop off the
pace early. In the company of Albert Timmer, Koen crossed the line
about two minutes after his teammates which was well in time to be
able to start tomorrow's stage and get back the race rhythm.
At the start of Tirreno-Adriatico
On Wednesday, Koen will start his first race since breaking his
collarbone in Qatar at the start of February with the Italian stage
race Tirreno-Adriatico. The race will last until Tuesday March
Training outside already
Despite saying in an interview with Cyclingonline (click here to read, in Dutch) that he planed
on training outside for the first time this coming weekend, Koen
did manage to get out before that on Wednesday afternoon. He is
progressing well in his recovery with an eye on
Koen recovering after crash in Tour of
Team Argos-Shimano rider Koen de Kort (Ned), who broke his
collarbone during the fourth stage of the Tour of Qatar, underwent
a successful operation at the Máxima Medical Centre in Veldhoven,
the Netherlands, on Friday and is now recovering.
"The surgery went well. I flew home Thursday night from Qatar and
had the operation Friday morning," said the 30-year-old de Kort
today. "I had to stay a night in the hospital and went home on
Saturday to start the recovery process. I had quite a lot of pain
the day after the operation, but since Sunday I've been doing well.
I've started doing some indoor training already, so that is a good
His focus is now on getting healthy for the Flemish classics. The
Dutchman will take it day by day and will not race until he is
fully recovered. "I know it will be tight to be ready on time," he
said, "but we will see how it develops. In the ideal scenario, I
will be able to do a stage race before the classics."
Koen de Kort was really pleased to see his teammate Marcel Kittel
winning in the Tour of Oman: "I knew it would come together one of
these days. In the Tour Down Under and the Tour of Qatar we saw
already that things were getting better, and we knew that when
everything fell into place we would be able to take the win."
Operated on in Veldhoven
After Koen arrived back to Netherlands on Thursday night from
Qatar, he was operated on his collarbone on Friday morning in the
hospital in Veldhoven. The operation went well according to the
doctors. After the x-ray (see underneath, AvH) Koen was able to
leave the hospital on Saturday morning and can now begin with his
Crashed again, broken collarbone
In the final kilometre of the fourth stage from Camel Race Track
to Al Khor Corniche over 160km, Koen fell again for the second day
in a row. Yesterday's crash doesn't seem as bad now as while the
damage yesterday was several grazes and bruises, today's crash
result in a collarbone fracture. If Koen is able to, he will fly
back to the Netherlands tomorrow and he will have an operation on
his collarbone on Friday in Veldhoven. The fracture is a clear
break. Koen did manage to cross the line in last place (139th) and
was classified as the same time at stage winner, Manxman Mark
"Had Xrays and CT scan done in a great sports hospital in Doha.
Will have operation done in The Netherlands, update soon. I guess
I'm a real cyclist now."
"I knew the final kilometers of today's stage were pretty
tricky. We were in the front to prepare the sprint for John
Degenkolb. A few riders, including me, went down 900 meters from
the finish, and I immediately felt that there was something wrong
with my right shoulder," said Koen. "Unfortunately, this is part of
cycling. I will now fully focus on my recovery in order to get back
in the saddle as soon as possible."
Mass sprint in Qatar: Degenkolb 8th, Koen
The third stage
which took the peloton from Al Wakra to Mesaieed over 143 kilometre
ended as expected in a mass sprint. Several riders of the
Argos-Shimano team worked at the front in the finale to bring team
leader John Degenkolb to the front. Koen was not able to do this,
Koen had fallen in a pile up 65km into the stage and was suffering
from hitting the tarmac. Degenkolb went very early in the sprint
and slowed after which he was swamped by several sprinters.
Ex-world champion Mark Cavendish won the stage. Degenkolb came in
8th place, while Koen crossed the line in 51st.
11th in the team time trial
The second stage
of the Tour of Qatar consisted of a team time trial over 14
kilometers starting and finishing in Al Rufaa Street. Koen's team,
Argos-Shimano, took 11th place, 30 second down on BMC which
contained stage 1 winner Brent Brookwalter. Click here for Koen's
Photo: The Argos-Shimano formation during the team time trial in
Qatar (with thanks to Cor Vos)
37th in the first stage of the Tour of
The first stage
of the Tour of Qatar took the peloton from Katara Cultural Village
to Dukhan Beach over 145 kilometers and Koen came in 37th place.
Koen was in the shrunken peloton of 50 who chased a break of three.
The break managed to stay out of the grasp of the peloton with
American Brookwalter taking the stage honours.
Photo: Koen ahead of the first stage in Qatar on the way to sign
in (with thanks to Cor Vos)
18th in final stage
Koen finished off the Tour Down Under with 18th place in the final
90km stage in Adelaide. The Argos-Shimano team had a good plan to
set up Marcel Kittel for the sprint. Unfortunately it did not go to
plan and Koen ended up being the only Argos rider who could dispute
the sprint. Koen came in 18th behind Andre Greipel who took his
third stage win in this year's edition of the Australian stage
race. Tom-Jelte Slagter won the overall classification. Koen
finished in 75th place.
Part of the early breakaway
Koen joined the early break during 151.5km stage five which
brought the peloton from McLaren Vale to Old Willunga Hill.
Unfortunately the break wasn't able to stay ahead in the mountain
stage of the race, and after being caught Koen joined the bus at
the back. Koen crossed the line in 100th place, 12'49" down on
Australian stage winner Simon Gerrans who won ahead of Dutch man
Tom-Jelte Slagter from Blanco Pro Cycling. Slagter took the leaders
jersey with just a flat stage left of 90km in the streets of
"It was Australian Day", aldus Koen. "A great day to train so I
wanted to be part of the breakaway and that worked out.
Unfortunately we didn't get enough space but it was worth the try,
eitherway I felt good.."
Photo: Koen leads the leading group at the start of the fifth
stage (with thanks to Cor Vos)
Greipel wins a second stage, Kittel sixth
The fourth stage from Modbury Tanunda took the peloton over 126.5
kilometers and was once again a sprinters stage. That meant that
Koen's work was to set up the sprint train for Marcel Kittel.
Unfortunately it didn't work out. Team mate Jonas Ahlstrand hit the
deck with 8km to go and Koen just managed to miss him by several
millimeters. With Ahlstrand out of the train, the team was missing
a rider for the leadout. In the sprint Kittel wasn't able to
accelerate at the right moment and he ended up in sixth place
behind Greipel who won his second stage. Koen crossed the line in
37th place in the peloton.
Not the best legs yet, 32nd
Koen showed during the third stage that he's on the way to some
good form but there is still some room for improvement. On the
stage from Urley to Stirling over 136 kilometers, he was able to
stay towards the front of the peloton while the race developed and
the peloton broke. Forty riders went stayed together for the final
surge but Koen didn't have the legs to sprint for the stage win.
Koen crossed the line in 32nd place, 18 seconds down from his
compatriot Tom-Jelte Slagter who won the sprint at the uphill
finish ahead of Australian fastman Matthew Goss and Belgium's world
champion Philippe Gilbert. Koen is now 32nd overall in the general
Koen 47th in second stage of the Tour Down Under
The second stage of the Tour Down Under brought the peloton over a
tough route of 116 kilometers from Mount Barker to Rostrevor. Koen
expected the stage to be tough but didn't expect the finish to turn
out the way it did. Koen had to let the leading peloton go ahead
early on in the stage and ended up crossing the line of the broken
up peloton in 47th place, 2'23" down on Briton Geraint Thomas who
won the stage. In the general classification Koen is now in 45th
"The stage was going well," Koen said from Australia. "I was not
super on the climb so I just let them go on. In hindsight it was a
good thing because I missed the big crash from the group I would
have been in, where pretty much all the guys fell."
Greipel wins first stage of the Tour Down
Andre Greipel and not Marcel Kittel won the first stage of the
Tour Down Under that took the peloton 135 kilometres from Prospect
to Lobethal. Koen's objective was to launch Kittel from the sprint
train but that did not work out as Koen was no longer part in the
front group, just like much of the other sprinters, as the peloton
broke apart in the hectic lead up to the finish. It was German
Andre Greipel who won ahead of Frenchman Arnaud Demaare and
Australian Mark Renshaw. Koen crossed the line in the main peloton
in 67th place. Wednesday's stage is a tough one according to
Koen. The team will have to see who is in the leading group
in the finale of the second stage of this World Tour race.
29th in People's Choice Classic
On Sunday, Koen lined out for the People's Choice Classic, the
traditional warm-up criterium race ahead of the Tour Down Under.
The 51 kilometre criterium was in the streets of Adelaide and was
won by German Andre Greipel. Koen came in 29th. The Tour Down Under
will start on Tuesday January 22nd and is the opening race of the
Photo: The Argos-Shimano team ahead of the start of the
People's Choice Classic (with thanks to Cor Vos)
Mitchelton Wines Bay Cycling Classic
Koen wil line up from the 1st to the 4th of January in a four day
criterium in the surrounds of Melbourne, Australia for the
Mitchelton Wines Bay Cycling Classic. Koen will be part of a five
man Degani Bakery Café team with Lotto rider Greg Henderon amongst
others. In the first race, Henderson went on the attack at the
start of the race but he was caught at about half way. Henderson
did manage to hold on to finish 5th and he was awarded as most
aggressive rider. Koen did not finish the race. On the second day,
Henderson defended his lead in the sprint classification during the
stage. Koen crossed the finish line in 20th place, 30 seconds down
on the day's winner.
5th in Melbourne Criterium Sprint
On Sunday December 23rd the Melbourne Criterium Sprint
Championships took place in Melbourne, Australia. This comprises of
a criterium in the streets of Melbourne over roughly 90 minutes
with five laps with 20 sprints along the way where 500 Australian
dollars could be won at each sprint. The prize money for the total
race was 17,500 Australian dollars. Koen took part of the criterium
in a team under the name of O2 Network where he joined Simon
Gerrans (Australian champion and winner of Milan-San Remo), Greg
Henderson, Michael Matthews, Calvin Watson and Duncan Smith. The
field starting the event comprised mainly of Australian and New
Zealand professionals with several European professionals. Koen
ended the race in 5th place. Champagne was given to the first five
riders, so Koen took part in the celebrations as can be seen from
the photo (with thanks to Pat Fitzpatrick).
Koen helped set 2 Guinness World
On Tuesday night December 11th Koen helped set 2
Guinness World Records in Melbourne Australia. Together with other
several riders, including Cadel Evans, they:
-Generated the most electrical energy by pedalling on bicycles in
-Lit the most lights by pedal power
Well done to everyone involved!
UCI granted Argos-Shimano a WorldTour
UCI awarded the final WorldTour-licenses, with Argos-Shimano be
one of them. So Argos-Shimano is ProTour team for the next four
The WT-peloton 2013 is
BMC Racing Team
Omega Pharma-Quick Step
You can order this card by sending a
stamped self-addressed evenlope to:
Photocard Koen de Kort