Koen de Kort
FotoFrame
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    Start Tour de France 2012 (Cor Vos)
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    TdF 2012 etappe 3 (Cor Vos)
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    Dwars door Vlaanderen 2012 (Cor Vos)
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    Suzuka Japan
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    TdF 2009 etappe 6
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    TdF 2009 etappe 10 (Cor Vos)
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    Ster Elektrotoer 2009 (Antoine van Heertum)
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    ploegenpresentatie 2010 (met dank aan Cor Vos)
Skil - Shimano Professional Cycling Team

Koen de Kort Official Website

Welcome to the Koen de Kort official website

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 Twitter verified

 

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

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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 31st
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 chances?
"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 development?
"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 better."

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.

 

Programme:

- 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 comes 80th
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.

 

Pulled out
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 3
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 29th place.



Degenkolb kicks off Paris-Nice with 2nd place, Koen 99th
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 3'46".

 

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 not.

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.
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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 work
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 place.

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 place.

Dubai Tour 2014 - 22

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 Telesport


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 Kaitlin Bell)
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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 general classification.

 

 

 

Marcel Kittel wins the People's Choice Classic
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 Australia
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.

 

Programme:

 

On to and including 2015 with Argos-Shimano
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 classics.

 

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 here


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)

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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 high classification.

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 stage.

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 down.

Renshaw surprises the sprinters at the Eneco Tour
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 58th.


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 Koen.

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In the preliminary selection for the Tour of Spain
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 Champs-Élysées
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 greater.

"What an amazing Tour de France and a great way to finish it. Incredibly happy with the teamwork, my leadout and stage win by Marcel Kittel."

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 classification.

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 respectively.

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.

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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 rest day.

"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).

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Restful stage
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 stage.


Unique footage of Koen and Marcel Kittel after the finish of stage 12

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 again
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 Kittel

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148th in time trial, teammate Dumoulin surprises with 9th place
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 Vos)

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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 115th
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)

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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 crowd.

"I feel better today than yesterday," Koen said in the evening from Nice, once back to the mainland of France. "I suffered and survived."

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 stage.

"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 teammate.

"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 Vos)

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Photo: the riders celebrate the victory during the evening meal with champagne (with thanks to Ad Pertijs)

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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.

In Corsica
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.

 

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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."

 

Halle-Ingooigem(B)
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

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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.

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"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.

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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 Vos)

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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 20.6 kilometers.

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 stage. 

Photo: Koen before the start of the 16th stage (with thanks to Kaitlin Bell)

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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".

No rain
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 stayed dry.

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 Dowsett.

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 at 6'37".

Watch here the final kilometer:


Fourth stage delivers hard finale for classification contenders

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 at 10'25".

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 contenders.

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 climb. 

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.

 

Programme:

 

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 overall.

Watch underneath the final three kilometers of the concluding stage.

Kittel wins his second stage after great work from Koen
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 finish
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 place.

 

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 general classification.



Crash thwarts finale of second stage in Turkey
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)

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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 Vos)

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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 Gent-Wevelgem
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 improving.

 

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 Joaquim Rodriguez.   

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 injury.

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 12th.

 

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 Tirreno-Adriatico.

 

Koen recovering after crash in Tour of Qatar
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 sign."
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 recovery.

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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 Cavendish.

"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 fell
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 reaction....

Photo: The Argos-Shimano formation during the team time trial in Qatar (with thanks to Cor Vos)

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37th in the first stage of the Tour of Qatar
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)

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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 Adelaide.

"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)

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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 classification.  

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 place.

"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 Under
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 World Tour.

Photo: The Argos-Shimano team ahead of the start of the People's Choice Classic (with thanks to Cor Vos)

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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 Championships
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).

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Koen helped set 2 Guinness World Records
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 one hour
-Lit the most lights by pedal power


Well done to everyone involved!

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UCI granted Argos-Shimano a WorldTour license
UCI awarded the final WorldTour-licenses, with Argos-Shimano be one of them. So Argos-Shimano is ProTour team for the next four years.

The WT-peloton 2013 is

The Netherlands
Rabobank/white label
Vacansoleil-DCM
Argos-Shimano

USA
BMC Racing Team
Garmin-Sharp

Belgium
Omega Pharma-Quick Step
Lotto-Belisol

France
FDJ
Ag2R-la Mondiale

Spain
Team Movistar
Euskaltel

Italy
Lampre-Merida
Cannondale

Australia
Orica-Greenedge

Kazachstan
Astana

Denmark
Saxo-Tinkoff

Great Britain
Team SKY

Luxembourg
Radioshack-Nissan-Trek

 

 

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Photocard 2013:

 

You can order this card by sending a stamped self-addressed evenlope to:

Photocard Koen de Kort
Dennendreef 9
5298WH Liempde

 

 

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 high classification.

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.