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.