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Dutch Championships 2008 – Men U23
By Bart Hazen
Date: 7/3/2008
Dutch Championships 2008 – Men U23

Dutch Championships 2008 – Men U23
Epic conditions with rain and high winds tested the grit of the young guns of Holland in Ootmarsum. The Van Vliet team played the perfect tactic to launch their captain for the final assault to victory.

The Dutch Road Championships were held in Ootmarsum in the province Overijssel. It was a very tough and technical course influenced by mother nature's wrath in the form of rain, cold and wind. The Men-U23 suffered through the conditions, Ronan van Zandbeek (Van Vliet) seemed to hardly take notice of the rain and powerful winds as he won the Dutch national title ahead of Leander Pronk and Dennis van Winden. The Rabobank Continentals lost the race of a strong Van Vliet Cycling team who protected and launched van Zandbeek for the victory in the final circuit.

Men - U23
The first attack of the day came from Maurice Vrijmoed (Van Vliet). In the same lap Mart van Blanken (Cycling Team Jo Piels) and Roy Eefting (Krolstone) went in the counter attack. It took almost two laps before they bridged up with the brave warrior Vrijmoed.

Mart van Blanken and Roy Eefting were part of the early break.
Photo © 2008 Bart Hazen

The three worked well together but they never got a gap more than 1:15 on the bunch. Meanwhile behind the escapees an attrition caused by the weather and the high pace of the chase the peloton was split into several parts. The fast pace also started to close on the three outriders being thrashed in the win and rain.

Jetse Bol (Rabobank) and Raymond Kreder (Davo) went on the counter-attack and bridged up quite fast with the three in front. Halfway through the race the five had 45 seconds on the first chase group, consisting of 28 riders, led by the Asito Cycling team.

The Asito Cycling Team led the chase (in the heavy rain) in the bunch in the early part of the race. Photo © 2008 Bart Hazen

With about 5 laps to go the break was swept up; and immediately attacks shot off the front producing a new alliance on the escape with: two Rabobank riders Boy van Poppel and Ricardo van der Velde, Maurice Vrijmoed (Van Vliet), Bert-Jan Lindeman (Asito), Wout Poels (P3Transfer) and Sebastian Kamphuis (Asito). A few kilometers later they got company of Emmanuel Van Ruitenbeek (Van Vliet). The sextet got a minute on the bunch, but the peloton was determined in the chase keeping a tight leash.

A rider goes down in a corner on the cobbles, one of many crashes due to the race conditions. Photo © 2008 Bart Hazen

Behind these six riders, a large chase group formed with Lars Jun, Thijs van Amerongen, Thijs Braber, Ben van der Kooi, Jean Scholten, Martijn Keizer, Coen Vermeltfoort, Ronan van Zandbeek, Robin Chaigneau and Tom Relou but with about 4 laps to go the chase group was caught as the peloton brought the break into their sights.

Maurice Vrijmoed makes another move with Van Poppel and Van Ruitenbeek and others on his wheel. Photo © 2008 Bart Hazen

With 4 laps to go we had a completely new situation as 14 riders broke clear. The fourteen in front were Michel Kreder, Boy van Poppel, Ricardo van der Velde, Wout Poels, Rob Ruijgh, Thijs van Amerongen, Emmanuel van Ruitenbeek, Maurice Vrijmoed, Sebastian Kamphuis, Bert-Jan Lindeman, Tom Relou, Ben van der Kooi, Ronan van Zandbeek and Mitchell Huenders. Later they were also joined by Frank de Reus.

The Asito cycling team led the chase most of the day as they missed the breaks.   Photo © 2008 Bart Hazen

The group of fifteen didn’t worked well together and with about two laps to go Tom Relou, Emmanuel van Ruitenbeek, Boy van Poppel, Maurice Vrijmoed and Bert-Jan Lindeman attacked from the break. As they passed through the finish with two laps to go the quintets gap was 15 seconds on: Thijs van Amerongen, Ronan van Zandbeek, Rob Ruijgh, Ricardo van der Velde and Boy van Poppel and 25 seconds on the bunch.

In the final lap the chasers bridged up to the break but again, the cooperation was not perfect. Maurice Vrijmoed, who rode in the attack all day, attacked once again and got company of his team mates Ronan van Zandbeek, Emmanuel van Ruitenbeek and Rabobanks Boy van Poppel.

In the last part of the final lap Van Zandbeek made his move attacking the quartet but more importantly Rabobank's Boy Van Poppel... Van Vleet team mates Ruitenbeek and Vrijmoedand with their work done sat up as Van Poppel fought to respond the trio were caught by the peloton in short order.

Ronan van Zandbeek rounds off the great team work, as his team rode aggressively all day for his win as the new Dutch national U23 Champion.  Photo © 2008 Bart Hazen

Van Zandbeek was riding very strong as he kept his lead on the bunch taking his first Dutch National U23 title. At 48 seconds Leander Pronk finished second. Dennis van Winden won the sprint of the bunch for third at 50 seconds. Ruud Fransen and Johim Ariesen completed the top 5.

2008 Dutch U23 Podium: Leander Pronk, Ronan Van Zandbeek in the Dutch Tricolor and Dennis Van Winden - names and faces to remember and watch in the future.  Photo © 2008 Bart Hazen

More Photos: U23 Championships Photo gallery

2008 Dutch U23 Championships
1 33 van Zandbeek, Ronan VVE vVliet-EBHelshof 4:26:54
2 127 Pronk, Leander WV de Jonge Renner 4:27:42 0:48
3 9 van Winden, Dennis RB3 Rabobank 4:27:44 0:50

Ronan van Zandbeek gets his well deserved kisses from the misses.
Photo © 2008 Bart Hazen

4 14 Fransen, Ruud CJP Jo Piels Cycling
5 55 Ariesen, Johim Line Lloyd Footwear
6 18 Ligthart, Pim KST KrolStonE
7 25 Gmelich Meijling, Jarno VVE vVliet-EBHelshof
8 41 Lindeman, Bert-Jan Asito Cycling Team
9 23 van Amerongen, Thijs VVE vVliet-EBHelshof
10 7 van der Velde, Ricardo RB3 Rabobank
11 53 Relou, Tom B&E Cycling Team
12 5 van Poppel, Boy RB3 Rabobank
13 137 de Baat, Arjen Camargo-Roper
14 3 Kreder, Michel RB3 Rabobank
15 138 Kreder, Raymond Davo Cycling Team
16 29 Vierbergen, Lars VVE vVliet-EBHelshof
17 19 Hagenaars, Luc FPT P3Transfer-Batav
18 22 Ruijgh, Rob TSP Team Sparkasse
19 31 Vrijmoed, Maurice VVE vVliet-EBHelshof 4:27:52 0:58
20 27 van Ruitenbeek, Emmanuel VVE vVliet-EBHelshof 4:27:57 1:03
21 46 Wierstra, Frank Asito Cycling Team 4:29:11 2:17
22 52 van Nuil, Hidde B&E Cycling Team 4:29:22 2:28
23 16 van der Sanden, Geert CJP Jo Piels Cycling 4:29:26 2:32
24 128 Terpstra, Mike WV de Jonge Renner 4:29:28 2:34
25 39 Kamphuis, Sebastiaan Asito Cycling Team 4:29:33 2:39
26 44 Reef, Marc Asito Cycling Team
27 10 de Bekker, Maurice CJP Jo Piels Cycling
28 49 Helderman, Paul B&E Cycling Team
29 8 Vermeltfoort, Coen RB3 Rabobank
30 100 Vreugdenhil, Johan NWV Groningen
31 125 Kooiman, Erik Jan WV de Jonge Renner
32 2 Keizer, Martijn RB3 Rabobank 4:29:42 2:48
33 51 van Luijk, Sven B&E Cycling Team
34 93 de Reus, Frank GRC Jan van Arckel
35 115 de Haan, Jesse WRV de Peddelaars 4:29:45 2:51
36 110 Atzori, Umberto WRV de Peddelaars
37 13 Brus, Marco CJP Jo Piels Cycling
38 123 van Diermen, Johnny WV de Jonge Renner
39 57 Kelderman, Martin Line Lloyd Footwear
40 139 Werst, Raymond Maaslandster-ZdLimb
41 36 van Dijk, Julian Asito Cycling Team
42 20 Jun, Lars FPT P3Transfer-Batav
43 64 du Prie, Mick Metec Cycling Team
44 63 te Brake, Remco Metec Cycling Team
45 91 Oosthoek, Arian DRC de Mol
46 79 Slagter, Tom Ruiter Dakkapellen
47 35 Chaigneau, Robin Asito Cycling Team
48 6 Sinkeldam, Ramon RB3 Rabobank
49 47 de Beer, Pim B&E Cycling Team
50 34 Broers, Remco Asito Cycling Team
51 60 te Stroet, Rens Line Lloyd Footwear
52 30 Vreugdenhil, Stefan VVE vVliet-EBHelshof 4:30:01 3:07
53 26 Kreder, Dennis VVE vVliet-EBHelshof
54 28 Stamsnijder, Bas VVE vVliet-EBHelshof 4:30:45 3:51
55 38 Huenders, Mitchell Asito Cycling Team
56 67 Verschoor, Jochem Rietveld Wielerteam 4:31:15 4:21
57 124 van der Kooi, Ben WV de Jonge Renner

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