|They are called the Dutch national championships but with five out of five winners coming from the province of Noord-Brabant it could better be called an open Brabant's championship. Cyclocross in Holland is one finding good soil in the south of the country. In the same south, in the same province of Noord-Brabant the little town of Huijbergen hosted this years run and ride for the red-white and blue jersey. "I for sure hope the rainbow-jersey will fit better, " commented a smiling Richard Groenendaal after he had put on with great difficulty the championsjersey. During his race for the maillot he really wanted to win back from his teammate Gerben de Knegt in the beginning it did not look at all he would succeed in his mission.
In one of the first corners he had a more or less close encounter with Maarten Nijland, causing him to meet a pole with his knee and having him to get of off his bike. First round and a mayor gap to overcome. Local rider and eager youngster Camiel van den Bergh told before the start he really really wanted to see himself on the podium after the one hour race and put all his willingness in an explosive start. The hard frozen ground started to reveal some of its hidden loose sand but Van de Bergh rode it like it was asphalt. Another non-Rabobank rider Wim de Vos joined him in the lead and both of them joined each other in trying to get away as far as they could from the orange and blue ooponents. Gerben de Knegt did not have high hopes for the race. He this season as a national champion did not reach his last years level caused by a leg injury resulting in a hurtfull back and one fastly soured leg. Even with this less form he is one of Holland better cyclocrossers but this time could not keep up with the pace Groenendaal was setting. "Because in the fall right after the start and hurting my bad knee again, I needed some one and a half lap to overcome the "ouch" feeling. Thought all was lost, but when I noticed I came closer to the leaders every lap I just got on with it."
Half way race Groenedaal already came close to the leaders, overtaking them as if they were not there. Both Van den Bergh and De Vos tried to keep up, but had to let the flying Dutchman go. Watch over by his teammate and Tour de France stage winner Michael Boogerd the man from Sint-Michielsgestel steamed up to his twelveth national title. Van den bergh accomplished his goals and finishing third, half a minute behind Groenendaals teammate De Knegt. "It felt like a home race, my hometown is not that far away from here. There were a lot of encouragements. I knew I had to start fast to have a real chance. When De Vos joined me in the front, we joined forces. But Groenendaal, and De Knegt too, today were way too good." Groenendaal knew upfront he was the top of the bill favourite. "No, that does not put any extra pressure on me. It has been like this all season. With all do respect, but riders like Van den Bergh, Van Gils and Nijland for instance are less than me. But still it is one jersey I wanna win very much, because it gives you that bit extra, you get to wear it all year, it gets extra publicity and so on."
1 9 Groenendaal, Richard (St. Michielsgestel), 59:23
2 16 de Knegt, Gerben (Goirle), 59:49, @ 0:26
3 3 van den Bergh, Camiel (Beesd), 1:00:20, @ 0:57
4 28 de Vos, Wim (Oosterhout), 1:00:43, @ 1:20
5 20 Nijland, Maarten (Rossum), 1:01:33, @ 2:10
6 8 van Gils, Wilant (Schijndel), 1:02:02, @ 2:39
7 26 Veldkamp, Wilfred (Woerden), 1:03:12, @ 3:49
8 12 Hoeben, Bjorn (Stramproy), 1:03:34, @ 4:11
9 2 Bastiaanse, Wilfried (Hoogerheide), 1:03:36, @ 4:13
10 29 de Vries, Micha (Hilversum), 1:03:39, @ 4:16
1 56 van den Brand, Daphny, (Zeeland), 41:59
2 59 Dorland, Corine, (Assendelft), 42:41. @ 0:42
3 91 Vos, Marianne, (Wijk en Aalburg), 43:44, @ 1:45
4 52 de Bie-Leijten, Nicolle, (Hulshout, Bel.), 43:56, @ 1:57
5 75 Mansveld, Debby, (Gasselternijveen), 44:04, @ 2:05
6 54 Boog - Rauwerda,Bernardi, (Bussum), 44:04, @ 2:05
7 55 van Boxmeer, Elly, (Erp), 45:11, @ 3:12
8 67 Hormes-Ravenstijn, Reza, (Wijchen), 45:29, @ 3:30
9 63 Gall, Marianne, (Marum), 45:49, @ 3:50
10 83 Stans, Siddhi (Hoogeveen), 45:59, @ 4:00
1 39 Verhagen, Thijs, (Erp), 48:57
2 6 Eltink, Theo, (Westelbeers), 49:11, @ 0:14
3 47 Weening, Pieter, (Harkema), 49:11, @ 0:14.
4 4 Dirkx, Bart, (Reusel), 49:17, @ 0:20
5 16 van Hummel, Kenny, (Elden), 49:47, @ 0:50
6 26 Posthuma, Joost (Hengelo), 49:50, @ 0:53
7 17 de Kort, Koen (Liempde), 50:05, @ 1:08
8 42 Verrijt, Erik (Heeze), 51:12, @ 2:15
9 19 Magielse, Guus, (Est), 51:28, @ 2:31
10 44 de Vries, Gerben, (Tolbert), 51:34, @ 2:37
1 108 Boom, Lars, (Vlijmen), 43:31
2 139 Langeveld, Sebastiaan, (Lisse), 44:12, @ 0:41
3 125 van IJzendoorn, Eddy, (Tiel), 45:22, @ 1:51
4 130 van Kessel, Egon, (Kerkdriel), 45:47, @ 2:16
5 103 van Amerongen, Thijs, (Vorden), 45:47, @ 2:16
6 114 Dijkxhoorn, Rikke, (Rijswijk), 46:02, @ 2:31
7 146 Nellen, Mark, (Maasbree), 46:20, @ 2:49
8 141 Liebe, Enrico, (Helmond), 46:22, @ 2:51
9 104 van Baar, Niels, (Woerden), 47:08, @ 3:37
10 159 Stamsnijder, Tom, (Enter), 47:20, @ 3:49
Dutch selections World Championships
After the championships the following riders were selected to compete at the World Championships in Monopoli, Italy:
Elite: Richard Groenendaal, Gerben De Knegt, Camiel Van den Bergh, Wim De Vos, Maarten Nijland.
Women: Daphny van den Brand, Corine Dorland, Nicolle De Bie-Leijten, Debby Mansveld and Reza Hormes-Ravenstijn.
Espoirs: Thijs Verhagen, Theo Eltink, Pieter Weening, Kenny van Hummel, Joost Posthuma and Bart Dirkx.
Juniors: Lars Boom, Sebastiaan Langeveld, Eddy van IJzendoorn, Thijs van Amerongen and Egon van Kessel.