Netherlands National Cycling ChampionshipAmy Peters crowned herself on Mount VAM as the Dutch road cycling champion. The 30-year-old SD Worx rider broke off a five-lap leaderboard before the finish and was more than two minutes ahead. Peters succeeds colleague Anna van der Bregen.
For the second year in a row, the Dutch Cycling Championships will be held in and around Mount VAM, a former landfill in Wijster in Drenthe. But there is definitely something different than it was about a year ago, when van der Bregen excelled among the women and Matteo van der Poel left nothing out of Jumbo-Visma after a day.. Differences: Unlike the 2020 edition, spectators may be present this year under The name of an experimental event – and perhaps more importantly – that women are much less interested in conquering red, white, and blue.
And this has to do mainly with one of the absolute best riders: defending champion Van der Bregen and Annemeck van Vleuten, who are primarily interested in the Olympics. Van der Bregen already beat her gold-medal rival in Tokyo on Wednesday with a 53-second delay in the trial version of the Dutch national championship. I really wanted to do well there, so I’m disappointed. “I had a really bad day,” Van Vleuten said afterwards of her fourth place.
“Here I wanted to refuel for the Olympics.” This did not work for Van Vleuten. Saturday got her last chance to get rid of a hangover, because Van Vleuten won’t even compete at the Olympics. But I don’t start here with the goal of winning or gaining confidence. “It will be very difficult to compete as one against teams like SD Worx, Jumbo-Visma and Trek-Segafredo,” she said up front.
And with that, Van Vleuten immediately pointed out the big favorites. SD Worx had Peters, van der Bregen, two-time winner Chantal Black and emerging talent Demi Fullering. “I like to see a female teammate win,” Van der Bregen said before the start, because she often gives gifts to her teammates. This time for a reason: Van der Breggen will stop soon, so that the red, white and blue color of the peloton does not appear.
The three big squads dispatched a woman when five knights escaped from a larger pioneer group. Nancy van der Burgh and Karleen Swinkels represented Jumbo Visma, Shereen Van Anroy was there on behalf of Trek Segafredo, and Peters took her cart on behalf of SD Works. Sabrina Stultiens (LIV Racing) completed the leading group and together took a nice lead on the peloton in the final stage of the race, with Lorena Wiebes (DSM) among others the victim of the team game: SD Worx and Jumbo-Visma controlling a lot. Van Vleuten tried several times on the Col du VAM to reduce the difference, but more than half a minute of the time did not lead to her speeding up.
After a full fifteen passes of Mount VAM, the Pieters had already shown that they were the strongest leading group by torturing the rest upwards. Not long after, Peters launched herself, jumping away from the leading group and leaving two Jumbo Visma women behind with no chance. In no time at all, the 2019 European champion, who has already won almost everything in terms of Dutch titles, was half a minute ahead of the pursuers. The last lap started with a 45 second lead over Van der Burg, Swinkels and Van Anroy.
In this, Peters’ leadership position is no longer in jeopardy. More than two minutes before the pursuers, she made a well-deserved gesture of victory atop the Col du VAM and made sure the red, white and blue remained on the team, just as Van der Breggen had hoped. Van der Burg won the race for second place at the expense of his teammates Swinkels and Van Anroy.
For Peters, this is her second win of the season after Nokiri-Korsi. Like Van der Breggen and Van Vleuten, it also prepares for the Olympics, but unlike Van der Breggen and Van Vleuten, it does not ride on the road, but on the track. Together with Kirsten Wild, she takes action on the pairing race. Together they have already been world champions twice.
Peters has already finished three times on the podium in the Dutch national championships. She won silver in 2015 and 2018 and bronze in 2019. The SD Worx rider who had completed two rounds before said the race finally took off. After doing many laps on the course, I knew what to attack and how it went. You can start climbing very quickly, and that’s what I tried. Then I heard through sporting director Danny Stam that I made a big hole and then you know you have to keep going. It actually went well,” she says with a sense of underestimation. On the last lap I had made good progress and was able to easily take it up to the last climb up the VAM mountain, although it was still very difficult. “
For Peters, this was her last race on the road until the Games. We go to Portugal for two weeks and then another two weeks of training in Apeldoorn. Then it’s time,” she says about it. It’s going very fast. It’s great to start my training weeks with this red, white and blue shirt in my pocket. “
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