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Banks, Birds and Lottery grabbing for Gold
By Anita van Crey
Date: 10/9/2003
Banks, Birds and Lottery grabbing for Gold
Gerrie Knetemann, the Dutch national coach, has chosen Steven de Jongh (Rabobank), Matthé Pronk and Rik Reinerink (both Bankgiroloterij) to accompany the allready selected riders at the World Championships in Hamilton. In the roadrace will compete in orange jerseys the three mentioned above and Michael Boogerd, Bram de Groot, Jan Boven, Maarten den Bakker, Karsten Kroon (all Rabobank), Koos Moerenhout (Lotto-Domo), Bram Schmitz and Gerben Löwik (both Bankgiroloterij) . Last one chosen was Erik Dekker. The Dutch Rabobankrider first said he was in lousy shape to compete in Hamilton, but changed his mind after a well Paris-Tours.

Not many people doubt Michael Boogerd will be the man in orange to watch. He prooved times before he can do well at a course like this one in Hamilton. He prepared himself in Italy in for instance the Giro di Lucca and trained a lot in windy Zuid-Limburg, the more hillier part of Holland. When the Dutch team left for Canada, Boogerd staid at home one more day to train and fly business class to give his body all the best adjustments to the chase for gold. At his side he will have faithfull helpers like Bram de Groot, Jan Boven and national timetrailchampion Maarten den Bakker, all able to stay put long at a hilly course like this worlds.

The other sort of camp in the orange box is the Bankgiroloterij camp. The riders chosen by Gerrie Knetemann from this second division team though are allmost all leaving the team and change to Chocolade Jacques. When in recent past years hardly one rider of a smaller team was chosen to represent the Dutch national colors. Belgians Johan Capiot together with teammanager Arend Scheppink in the past two years did do such a great job to build (and in some cases re-build) great riders, now four of them are selected for the national team. The Dutch all show much eager in doing well in another world championships. The team starting in Sunday will have many riders in it that can do well, that can help the other to a tittle, that can compete themself for a good result.

Boogerd showed his shape in Italy, Löwik, Reinerink, Pronk and Schmitz did do so in the Ster Elektro Toer (with a very hilly stage on Saturday, Löwik finished second there after being in the frontlines (with a breakawaygroup) all day) and Circuit Franco-Belge. The former Rabobank rider and son of a big furnitureshop owner and sponsor of one of the leading amateurteams in Holland Gerben ‘Sjaak’ Löwik won both stage races. He is building up his form tiptop. His teammate Rik ‘Brutus’ Reinerink recently refound his climbinglegs, won the King of the Mountains jersey in the Ster Elektro Toer (taking it over from his teammate Remco van der Ven after Saturdays difficulter than Liege-Bastogne-Liege stage). He for sure can be of great help for Dutch aspirations on that one jersey with the five colored stripes.... Matthé Pronk is a rider not so often noticed by the big crowds, but in every ride working his butt of. He showed he can win his races also in the hilly Druivenkoers (Graperide) in Overijsse. Their teammate Bram Schmitz, next year teammate of Jan Ullrich, won several KoM-tricots in major rides like Luxembourg and Germany.

Maarten den Bakker and Erik Dekker can be of immensly great importance for the needed experience in reading and riding a race as a world tittle battle will be. Their teammates can take much advantage of their knowledge on what to do best and what to do better not. They also can make nervoushead Boogerd less nervous when he finds himself in chances for winning. The 12 men to compete in orange are completed by Koos Moerenhout. Since years this faithfull helper in the Lotto-Domo team is a valued one in the national team.

The Netherlands did not send a professional rider to compete in the mens timetrail, since they felt either not good enough to do well or wanted to focuss the most on Sundays race.

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