>The World on Wheels competition kicked off a 'double-feature' holiday weekend in the Netherlands today, with the Vorden Criterium (to be followed on Monday by the t'Veld Criterium).
After another week of fine weather, the reports said it would all be over by the weekend, with rain predicted for Saturday through Monday - and skate shops sold out of rain wheels and fielding a lot of phone calls. But after a wet start, the weather fined up today and was somehow warm and sunny for the 2:30pm program start in Vorden that included A, B & C men, Veterans, Ladies 1 & 2, and for the first time, a special Sprint Event - 200m head-to-head elimination competition that was won by Michel Mulder (winner of the 300 and 500m sprints at the Nationale Baantitels last week).
The Vorden course is a smooth, fast 1300m track with 4 square left hand turns, one long and often slightly windy uphill and a slight downhill for a high-speed finish. In 2006 however, rain made the Vorden course very slick.
Video of the Dames A criterium in Vorden (courtesy Glenn Wassenburgh, the MarathonIllustrator)
The ladies field was again quite strong today with most of the Dutch selection finishing their National Championships last week, with most still with a lot of form. During the race CadoMotus Bianca Roosenboom’s (NED) job was to collect all the preem sprints, while Hilde Goovaerts (BEL), Jannitta Spigt (NED) and Angeline Thomas (AUS) made sure to counter any attacks that followed. Mariska Huisman (NED) tried a few times to break away, found it difficult going alone on a fast course where the bunch speed remains high.
After one of the preem sprints, Thomas and Spigt attacked from the back of the group with Japan’s Nachi Shinozuka quickly jumping on their wheel. They opened a 200m lead on the pack for about 3 laps, with the work being shared between all three skaters. The speed of the main field was too high however, and they were caught by the group with just a few minutes remaining.
In the last 2 laps, there was a lot of fighting, with all teams trying to position themselves for the final sprint. Hilde Goovaerts made sure to keep moving up until she was right on the wheel of TimeOut's Britta Vantournhout (BEL), who was being lead out by Anniek Ter Haar (NED) - who had opened the race with 2 hard laps to string out the field early on. On the last lap and with 700m remaining, Hilde Goovaerts jumped around team TimeOut to start the lead out with Angeline Thomas on her wheel. A gap opened behind them for Britta Vantournhout to jump on. Before the final turn, Vantournhout was right on the CadoMotus train so from 5th place Bianca Roosenboom stepped out to take the opportunty to sprint with no-one following. Thomas then waited for her to pass and jumped to her wheel, leaving a gap on the downhill that the other sprinters were unable to close at high speed.
With another great result for the CadoMotus Ladies, Bianca Roosenboom took her first win of the season with Angeline Thomas 2nd and Nachi Shinozuka 3rd. A great finish by 17 year-old Margo Van de Merwe (CadoMotus National) in 4th (while the Gaudesaboos sisters remained in Belgium for their National Road Championship) and the best finish she has had this season.
1. Bianca Roosenboom (NED), CadoMotus World Ladies
2. Angeline Thomas (AUS), CadoMotus World Ladies
3. Nachi Shinozuka (JAP), Timmerman/PS
4. Margo van de Merwe (NED), CadoMotus National
5. Mariska Huisman (NED), TimeOut
7. Jannitta Spigt (NED), CadoMotus World Ladies
9. Hilde Goovaerts (BEL), CadoMotus World Ladies
Bianca & Angeline ride the CadoMotus PRO 12.4 Frame, with Hyper Mach 2 Gold wheels.
The mens event was fast-paced from the opening, with a full lineup of teams present and all skaters keen to push the pace in dry conditions on the fast Vorden course. Breakaways were the order of the day, despite rarely lasting long as the fast-moving group bore down on each and every one. The Powerplay.nl team of Geert Plender, Sander de Graaf, Stephan Wielinga, Swiss Alain Gloor and returning from injury, Jan van Loon, launched attacks throughout the first 35 minutes of the 45-min +5 lap event - often countering off their own attacks and succeeding in putting single skaters clear of the field a number of times. Habovo were active in initiating attacks also, as were the Nefit team - keen to score a podium place for Arjan Mombarg (NED) who was in front of a home crowd at the event he helps organize and promote each year.
Video of the Heren A criterium in Vorden (courtesy Glenn Wassenburgh, the MarathonIllustrator)
A sneak off the front by Arjan Smit together with Geert Plender and Jan van Loon in the closing laps was close to being successful, however they were swallowed by the bunch in the last lap with around 40 skaters still intact in the lead group to contest the jostling and wrestling match that precedes the final sprint. While Timmerman/PS managed to put 4 skaters together near the front with just 500m remaining, it was Sjoerd Huisman who had been allowed to skate an economical race who took the lead, followed by Ingmar Berga and Michael Byrne (AUS) into the final turn. Despite a corner-exit run up the inside by Byrne, the order at the turn would not change at the line - with Huisman taking the win with another strong sprint finish, followed by Berga in 2nd, and Byrne 3rd for his first podium appearance of the season.
1. Sjoerd Huisman (NED), Nefit
2. Ingmar Berga (NED), DSB
3. Michael Byrne (AUS), Unive-Stouwdam-CadoMotus
4. Stijn van Hoeve (BEL), Habovo
5. Karlo Timmerman (NED), Timmerman/PS
The double-feature 'weekend' continues in the Netherlands on Monday night with another World on Wheels Criterium in t'Veld - the scene of last year's Netherlands Marathon Championship.