Timo de Jong takes home impressive third place
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.’’