Maarten van Trijp wins Craft Ster van Zwolle after great teamwork

by Stef Habets
Maarten van Trijp wins Craft Ster van Zwolle after great teamwork

Echelons crashes and flats in Topcompetitie opening

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Maarten van Trijp won the season openings race Craft Ster van Zwolle. After a battle of 180-kilometres the allrounder of Team DESTIL – Parkhotel Valkenburg edged Jaap Kooijman of Vlasman CT and René Hooghiemster of Alecto CT in the final sprint. Jordi van Loon finished sixth. Van Trijp is the first leader of the Topcompetition with Van Loon leading in the young riders competition.

Team DESTIL – Parkhotel Valkenburg travelled with great focus and in good spirit to the season opener. It was the first race of team DESTIL – Parkhotel Valkenburg and it was a tough one. Unbearable cold, gusting winds and 180 kilometres to cover between start and the finish made the Craft Ster van Zwolle a hard race.

The first part of the race was chaotic and very hard for our Russian riders Pavel Chursin and Stepan Grigorya. They never done such a nervous and chaotic Dutch echelon race before. Both learned a lot today. “They learned a lot today. It’s not easy when you are not familiar with this racing style and you face the unknown. But now they know what it is like to race a Dutch echelon race and they will adapt,” said sports director Frank Pennings after the race.

The race saw several unsuccessful breakaways and many echelons which made it very hard. It eventually came down to survival of the fittest and with 50 kilometres to go a final break of 18 riders formed. The group build a strong lead over the chasing peloton. There were three of our riders present in the front group, Jordi van Loon, Maarten van Trijp and a very strong first year U23 Robin Blummel. Robin had to let the group go after a flat tire and a crash.

With 30 kilometres to go Jordi van Loon and two others attacked and got clear. They soon took an advantage of 25 seconds and the gap stayed like that for a few kilometres. Then Maarten van Trijp joined a counterattack with two other riders and they bridged the gap. The leading group of six, including our two riders, entered the final. With 10 km’s to go the gap was 35 seconds. Jordi van Loon pulled hard to hold the group together despite some attacks from the other competitors he managed this very well. We were now in for a sprint finish and this suited Maarten van Trijp perfectly. Jordi kept pulling and made sure that no one could escape in the last two kilometres. Then Maarten launched his sprint with 250 metres to go and took the win in a nerve-wracking final.

Sports Director Frank Pennings: “I’m very pleased with the whole team. I’m proud of our youngsters. We showed 100 percent determination and passion for cycling. This victory is a team victory.”

Best U23 rider Jordi van Loon

1. Maarten van Trijp 2. Jaap Kooijman 3. René Hooghiemster