Our third stage of the weekend was the Dorpenomloop in the western part of the Netherlands. Third day, third time race abouve 190k’s, third time narrow roads with lots of 90 degree turns and third time sidewinds. To sum up, again a very cozy and easy race...
Of course not! The riders and so the teams were unfortunately switched to „fresh“ ones but we were still riding in the same line up as the two days before. But maybe this was also not to bad. We were already used to the high speeds and sidewind racing.
Literally feeling the hectic, I knew that this 1.2 race was a little different to the two 1.1 races the day before. Few grown up riders with experience, lots of young overmotivated riders and hence lots of crashes. Saddly after 140 also one of our sprinters, Olli Hofstetter, was involved in a crash.
But starting from the beginning: I felt the two days immediatelly from the start. I tried to jump in breakaways and was almost gone one time. But as it is 90 percent of the time, you’ll get caught by the time you can look back the second time... Afte I blew my remaining power, Olli tried hie fortune but was also not able to create a seriouse gap. After 50k’s Alex Pliuschin tried his luck and was able to rip a gap of a maximum of about 3 minutes. Him, Bernhard Oberholzer and a rider from the Katusha Continental Team did their best but were caught after the three big laps. (each 57km)
Now we had to go for one more small lap of 20k’s. I was completely tired after 150 kilometers but tried my best once more and in a lucky moment I jumped from the road on the curb and was able to enter the front of the peloton passing about 100 riders in only 20 seconds or so. I was ride next to my teammates Jesus, Alex and sprinterking Giorgio.
Maybe we started pulling to early but we didn’t go full anyway so why not going 20k’s from the front. 10 to go, Christina Whatches also entered the front of the peloton and we were pulling together. I tried to stay in the very front of the peloton but also maybe in the wind shadow of Stefan Schumacher who was pulling from the front 5k’s to go. I also protected Giorgio once more from the side winds riding myself right next to him. When we came into the village were the finishline was, we had 3,5 to go and the bunch behind me tried to pass us. I went to position two, waiting behind some Glud Mastrand guy. When I again felt the bunch coming from the back, I decided to go full. I spend my last energy pulling from the very front of the peloton and unfortunately only made it to the 1,7k mark. But the high speed didn’t give the other riders the chance to pass Giorgio who was still hiding at about position 6 or so.
In the final he had great legs and the lucky mens gap to win the damn race! Great sport my friend, thank you for the first team victory!!!