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Uplifting 4th place in gruelling fast Arno Wallaard memorial

by Stef Habets
Uplifting 4th place in gruelling fast Arno Wallaard memorial

Tim Kerkhof shows himself and sets up decisive breakaway

Meerkerk was the epic centre for the 12th Arno Wallaard memorial. Great weather conditions and a light breeze were the ingredients for a blistering fast race with an average speed of 47 km/h. The riders had to ride 184 kilometres through the polders. Tim Kerkhof rode to a very strong 4th place whilst Maarten van Trijp won the sprint of the peloton just a few seconds later. Tim attacked the peloton with just 4 local laps to go and was joined quickly after by 3 companions.

The race started fast and despite the lack of wind there were plenty of attacks. The few breakaways that actually got away never managed to get a significant gap and were quickly reeled back in. The first lap through the polders near Meerkerk was blistering fast and the second didn’t prove to be much different.

During the second loop through the open fields Tim Kerkhof and Pavel Chursin found themselves in a leading group containing 25 riders. Due to a bad cohesion this group was caught after a few kilometres. Oscar van Wijk got caught up in a bizarre crash caused by a chicken crossing the road. Fortunately for him without any damage to him or the bike, he got back in the peloton swiftly.

During the local laps around Meerkerk the race formed into its final shape. The final proved to be a hard and fast one. After the first local lap Tim Kerkhof saw his chance and went for it. Tim was joined by Cees Bol (SEG Racing), Michiel Dieleman (Cibel-Cebon) and Joshua Huppertz (Lotto-Kern Haus). The four leaders worked together to maintain the lead and soon got a gap of 25 seconds. In the bunch Metec-TKH started working and reduced the gap to six seconds with 2 laps to go. This was the moment for Dion Beukeboom (Vlasman) to close the gap with the leaders. After Beukeboom bridged across the advantage got bigger and the five leaders knew that they were riding for the win. Tim Kerkhof saw his light was slowly fading to black after setting up this attack. He managed to sprint to a fourth place after an attacking race. Maarten van Trijp won the sprint of the chasing bunch and finished 8th. Oscar van Wijk crashed hard and broke his jaw in the last lap. Get well soon Oscar!

Altogether a good day in the saddle for the riders of DESTIL-Parkhotel Valkenburg CT.

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Great win by Maarten van Trijp in Gerwen

by Stef Habets
Great win by Maarten van Trijp in Gerwen

Maarten van Trijp did a good job in De Grote Ronde van Gerwen. He took his second win of the season and the third of the team. Van Trijp on Twitter: “Firts crit win of the season in Gerwen. Due to a bad day on the bike it turned into a real sufferfest. But a win makes suffering worth it!”.

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45th Volta Limburg Classic very hard race

by Stef Habets
45th Volta Limburg Classic very hard race
VLC

The race was 180 km long and contained 38 climbs in the Hills of Limburg. Start and finish where at the mythical cobbles of the Diepstraat in Eijsden. The former ‘’Hel van het Mergelland’’ lived up to its name with awful weather conditions and an immensely heavy course. Pavel Chursin was the team’s first finisher with a very good 33th place.

After a furious first hour, in which the riders rode 45 kilometres, a breakaway got away. This group managed to stay clear until the finish. Our riders were well placed in the peloton and managed to show themselves at the front. Tim Kerkhof attacked at the first climb of the Koning van Spanje and got a nice gap, but quickly after he realised that without companions this breakaway stood no chance. Also Cameron Beard and Oscar van Wijk showed themselves at the front of the peloton.

Despite of his attack Tim Kerkhof had to abandon the race due to stomach issues. Jordi van Loon wasn’t at full strength due to illness and had to abandon too. For Oscar van Wijk the light went out at the climb of the Planck and got dropped, nevertheless still a great performance in his very first UCI 1.1 Race. Jacob Eriksson, Pavel Chursin and Cameron Beard managed to stay in the peloton while the rain started pouring down.

In the rainy final the peloton split in two and Pavel Chursin held on to the first half. Cameron beard and youngster Jacob Eriksson couldn’t follow the pace of the first half they ended up in the second part of the peloton. In the last three kilometres Pavel Chursin lost a few positions and eventually finished in 33th place. Sportive Director Frank Pennings was happy with the result and quite pleased with how the riders performed.

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Jordi van Loon successful as sports director

by Stef Habets
Jordi van Loon successful as sports director

Last Sunday’ Omloop van de Houtse Linies was all about the new concept of a rider being sports director. Jordi van Loon was the first of our riders to take on this role. He did this properly and he learned a lot about tactics and race situations. Jordi had to explore the route beforehand. He had to brief the riders about the wind directions and race tactics and had to take place in the team car. He saw the race from a new perspective as he was sitting next to Frank Pennings, his assistant during the whole process. The riders on the bike had to execute the plan Jordi made and this led to a impressive third place by Timo de Jong.

It went really well, Jordi made the tactics and briefed the riders about the wind and its direction.

Jordi says that he has learned a lot from his experience of being sports director, especially the race tactics and the hectic in the caravan of team cars. ‘’These are the things you don’t see as a rider, it was very nice to experience the race from another perspective. I will definitely use this experience when I’m back on my bike racing again. ‘’ Assistant sports director Frank Pennings looks back to the race happily: ‘’It went really well, Jordi made the tactics and briefed the riders about the wind and its direction. He saw the race from a completely new perspective. He definitely learned a lot and can use this experience in his own future racing. It was a great learning experience and we will do this more often in the future.‘’

Altogether it was a great first time for this experiment. The riders get to know the other side of bike racing and can proceed with an awful lot of extra experience. This is what makes our team unique, we not only develop the riders physically, they also develop tactically and as a human being.

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Timo de Jong takes home impressive third place

by Stef Habets
Timo de Jong takes home impressive third place
Timo de Jong

DESTIL-Parkhotel CT heats up ice cold Omloop van de Houtse Linies

The 32nd Omloop van de Houtse Linies in Den Hout took place in dreadful weather conditions.  Youngster Timo de Jong impressed by taking third whilst Tim Kerkhof won the sprint for the fourth place.148km separated the riders from the finish and riders had to bear freezing temperatures and a heavy east wind. These are all the ingredients you need for a chaotic day in the saddle. Despite the weather conditions the team rode very well and took third and fourth place after being in the break the whole day.

The mayhem and chaos was present right from the start. There was a big pile up during the neutral zone, this led to a new neutralisation and a restart of the race. Unfortunately Guillem Garcia was part of the massive crash and had trouble after the restart. The other riders managed to stay relatively unharmed and the race proceeded. Directly after the restart crosswinds came across the peloton resulting in several echelons.
Tim Kerkhof, Twan Brusselman and Timo de Jong were part of the first echelon of 11 riders. After a few laps the chasing echelon bridged the gap and re-joined the leaders. The calms didn’t hold on that long as a new group of 8 rode away. This group included Timo de Jong and Tim Kerkhof, Twan Brusselman crashed out of the race but escaped without severe injuries.

The front group stayed together for a little while but than Abe Celi of Alecto lit up the finale with one lap to go. The first attack of the final proved to be the decisive one. Peter Schulting of Monkey Town and Timo de Jong followed Celi. Tim Kerkhof had great legs but was caught out due to the race situation. The group including Tim was caught by the chasing group of 16 riders. The 18 years old rider of team DESTIL Parkhotel Valkenburg did a lot of work earlier in the race and that costed him dearly in the final. During the final lap of the race the pace of his companions was to high for Timo and he had to let them go.  Schulting took the win before Celi, Timo de Jong finished third and Tim Kerkhof managed to win the sprint of the chasing group to become fourth.

 

The Sports Director of the day: Jordi van Loon said: ‘’It was a hard and cold race but our riders did a great job. Too bad that Tim wasn’t in Timo his position because he had the legs to win here. Nevertheless we are happy with this result and our riders learned a lot.’’

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Jordi van Loon steps out of comfort zone

by Stef Habets
Jordi van Loon steps out of comfort zone

This weekend will be all about firsts. Sunday’s omloop van de Houtse linies will be the first race where one of our riders will take on the role of sportive director. Jordi van Loon will be in charge of tactical decisions and the strategy. He will take place in the team car next to Frank Pennings who will be his assistant during the whole process.

The philosophy behind this is simple, we want our talents to develop into complete riders. The team management wants to make the riders aware of the tasks that seem obvious to them. The riders on the bike have to execute the race plan, afterwards they reflect on the race and what has happened during. When our riders turn pro they have seen every aspect of cycling. It doesn’t only develop them as riders it makes them complete as human beings.

Picture: Topcompetitie, Leon van Bon

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