Race report

Nils Eekhoff 8th at Ronde van Drenthe after day of bad luck

Ronde van Drenthe

The final race of the season saw Team DSM line up at Ronde van Drenthe this afternoon, with a tricky and hard day of racing expected over the 185 kilometres from Assen to Hoogeveen, where the bunch would tackle unpaved sections of road and five passages of the infamous VAM-berg climb; with three of those coming in the finale.

It was an attacking opening 15 kilometres before a three rider group managed to escape, building up an advantage that reached of over five minutes, with all Team DSM riders in the peloton. As the kilometres ticked down, the intensity of the racing increased and the bunch slowly diminished throughout the afternoon, as did the gap for those ahead.

However, things slowed in the peloton approaching the VAM-berg circuit and those out front increased their lead, which would ultimately be enough for Herregodts to go solo and hold on for the win. Bad luck hampered the team throughout the day with Casper van Uden in a promising move earlier before he was involved in a crash, couple with some untimely mechanicals which saw the team spend extra energy. Back in the chasing peloton, the race exploded over the climbs before regrouping somewhat again with Nils Eeekhoff leading the team home in eighth place.

“It was a day of bad luck in Drenthe for us,” explained Eekhoff. “We had good spirit and were racing in the front but several crashes and mechanicals made it hard for us. We kept on fighting towards the front and got back in the race in the final. Casper was in a good attack for us but unfortunately due to his fall earlier he wasn’t able to follow anymore. I focused on staying in the front and covering the counter attacks and then positioned for the sprint. We managed a solid sprint in the end to finish eighth.”

Team DSM coach Wilbert Broekhuizen added: “We were fully committed from the start and the whole team was super motivated to go for a result. After around 30 kilometres both Tim and Casper crashed, and from that moment we unfortunately had someone in almost every incident; it was a really nervous and stressful day in the bunch. Niklas and Marius were then both involved in falls too. We were just unlucky today that we were in those falls as it cost us so much energy to come into a good position towards the final. Enzo and Florian brought back the dangerous attacking group, behind the lone leader and Tim then did a super good job to bring Casper and Nils into a good position. Casper then put in a good effort in the final and Nils could finish it off in the top ten for us. Overall, we were pretty unlucky today but the guys commitment was really good and we can proud of the fight and effort they showed despite the bad luck.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 HERREGODTS Rune Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise 4:22:07 125
2 PASQUALON Andrea Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux 0:13 85
3 GROENEWEGEN Dylan Jumbo-Visma Development Team ,, 70
8 EEKHOFF Nils Team DSM ,, 30
41 VAN UDEN Casper Team DSM 2:15 -
43 NABERMAN Tim Team DSM ,, -
68 STORK Florian Team DSM 5:33 -
1005 MAYRHOFER Marius Team DSM -04:22:07 -
1005 LEIJNSE Enzo Team DSM ,, -
1005 MÄRKL Niklas Team DSM ,, -