Photos Ronde van Overijssel Men 2015

Ronde van Overijssel Men 2015 / 2 May / Rijssen

Dennis Coenen (VGS) won last year’s edition of the Ronde van Overijssel. Speaker Harry Middeljans spoke to him during the team presentation before the start of the race (photo above). This year it was time for the 2nd edition of the women’s race, but already the 63rd edition of the men’s race. The men started their race at 12 o’clock and had to ride 200 kilometres through Overijssel. At the end, the riders crossed the finish two times before their final lap through Rijssen.

The Irish talent Conor Dunne from An Post – Chainreaction escaped from the peloton after the Kuiperberg in Ootmarsum. He gained a maximum advantage of two minutes, but his solo ended after the Lemelerberg. After the Holterberg (photo above) many riders decided to attack. In Markelo, this year’s town of the Ronde, Jasper Hamelink (MET) won the sprint. In the final kilometres, a group of eight riders got away, but the sprint trains from Jo Piels and Parkhotel Valkenburg made sure the race ended in a mass sprint.

Jeff Vermeulen from Cyclingteam Jo Piels was the fastest rider in the sprint and crossed the finish line before Marco Zanotti (PHV) and Coen Vermeltfoort (RIJ). Cyclingteam Jo Piels is known for their team spirit; Vermeulen’s teammates crossed the finish line with a smile and were truly happy for him. Vermeulen also became the new leader of the GC in the Topcompetition. Jelle Wolsink (MET), a talented rider from Hengelo, is the new U23 leader in the Topcompetition.

The most combative rider of the day also rides for Cyclingteam Jo Piels. For Joey van Rhee, the roads in Overijssel are not unknown. The talented rider lives in Nijverdal, a town near the start and finish of the Ronde van Overijssel. He even passed through his hometown during the race. One of his gifts was a ‘Snelle Jelle set’ with a sweater and a few of the famous Dutch gingerbreads.


Photos Ronde van Overijssel Women 2015

Ronde van Overijssel Women 2015 / 1 May / Rijssen

After last year’s successful first Women’s edition of the Ronde van Overijssel, the organisation decided to continue with this new international event. The Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team came with Evelyn Stevens, Ellen van Dijk, Chantal Blaak and Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Armitstead to the start of this year’s race. Roxane Knetemann from the Rabo-Liv Women Cycling Team returned after last year’s unsuccessful breakaway. She brought her teammates Anouska Koster, Anna Knauer and Moniek Tenniglo to the Ronde van Overijssel for Women.

Speaker Aschwin Kruders talked to Kelly Druyts from Topsport Vlaanderen Pro Duo, who won a stage in the Holland Ladies Tour and the Trophée d’Or Féminin in 2014, but is even more successful in track cycling. This year’s course was 143 kilometres long. The riders left the Parkgebouw in Rijssen at 15.45 and finished at about 19.25 in the Wijnand Zeeuwstraat in Rijssen. This year’s town of the Ronde is Markelo, where the riders could win a sprint prize.

The first part of the race was not that interesting; the peloton stayed together for a long time. At the end of the race, in the final local circuit, a head bunch escaped from the peloton. They had an advantage of 1 minute and 50 seconds, but there were only 10 seconds left before the finish line. The head bunch sprinted for the victory and Lauren Kitchen from Australia was the fastest rider.

The most combative rider of the day was Natalie van Gogh (PHV), who also became second in the race. The winner of the sprint in Markelo, the town of the Ronde was Anouska Koster (RBW), who became third in the race. Kirsten Wild (HPU) is currently the leader of the GC in the Topcompetition. Anna Knauer (RBW) is the U23 leader in the Topcompetition.


The 63rd Ronde van Overijssel

This year the Ronde van Overijssel, a road race in the east of the Netherlands, will take place for the 63rd time. Just like last year, the race will take up two days: on Friday the 1st of May the women will ride their race (1.1) and on Saturday the 2nd of May, the man will hit the eastern roads. On Thursday the 5th of March 2015, the annual cycling café was held in Markelo, this year’s ‘town of the Ronde’.

Ronde van Overijssel LogoThe race director, Rik Reinerink, told the public at the cycling café that the men’s race is popular; every year there are a lot of applications to participate in the race and since this year, the Topcompetition – a classification in the Netherlands – has returned and the Ronde is also part of it. So it is not a surprise that there are twenty teams on the provisional startlist. However, trying to pursue women’s teams to participate in the race is a lot harder. Last year the first women’s race of the Ronde van Overijssel took place and it was very successful.

But on the 2nd of May there are more women’s races on the calendar and because women’s teams in Europe are scarce, it was hard to get them to Twente. For example, Liv-Plantur – with riders such as Amy Pieters and Lucy Garner – won’t come to Overijssel. Also, Marianne Vos won’t be present, although her team – Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team – will come. Topriders such as Chloe Hosking (WHT), Jolien D’Hoore (WHT), Kirsten Wild (HPU), Marijn de Vries (PHV), Roxane Knetemann (RBW) and Elisabeth Armitstead (DLT) are on the provisional startlist.

The town of the Ronde, Markelo, is known for its love of cycling. Every year the Ronde van Markelo, a local criterium, takes place and attracts a lot of people. Bert Boom, a former cyclist, is from Markelo and Eppie ten hove from the local cycling foundation and Jan Smale from the tourclub Markelo do everything to motivate young talent and getting people energized for cycling in Twente.

Henk Schippers from the new Dutch ProContinental Team Roompot Oranje Peloton was also present at the cycling café. In 2013, the idea arose to create a new team that would be 100% orange (Dutch) together with Michael Zijlaard, Erik Breukink, Michael Boogerd and Jean-Paul van Poppel. Schippers had been active in the cycling industry for over 20 years and had the time to use his network. The UCI rules are complex, but they managed to conform to these rules and form a solid team with 12 first-year professionals. As of now, the team has already participated in various spring classics, such as the Ronde van Vlaanderen and the Amstel Gold Race.

Of course Han Vaanhold, sports director at the Dutch Continental Team Jo Piels, was also present at the cycling café. Vaanhold is a very motivated and passionate sports director. However, he never wanted to become a professional and works in education. “I don’t know the ins and outs,” says the man from Haaksbergen.

Cycling Team Jo Piels has been a breeding ground for young talents for years now; many riders transferred to professional teams in the past. Last year, two riders left for Team Roompot. Vaanhold mostly doesn’t pick a leader, but tells his riders to “show themselves”. “Everyone has the opportunity to grab chances,” according to Vaanhold.

One of the riders of Vaanhold is Joey van Rhee, who devotes his life completely to cycling for the first time this season. He has graduated from college, spent 3 years at the Metec team and is now with Jo Piels. “I feel at home here,” Joey says at the cycling café. In 2015 he wants to show his talent. Also for his there’s the chance to become a procyclist. “I’ll give it my all.” During the Dutch nationals, which take place in Emmen this year, Vaanhold and his team want to benefit from the rivalry between teams. The race will probably end in a mass sprint, but “our intention is to create a show and turn it into a beautiful race”.

More information about the Ronde van Overijssel is available in Dutch at The women’s race will start on Friday afternoon at a quarter to four at the Parkgebouw in Rijssen and the finish will take place at about half past seven. The men will start the next morning at twelve o’clock and finish at around ten to five on the Wijnand Zeeuwstraat in Rijssen.


The cycling café in Markelo, Overijssel, the Netherlands

Strictly Forbidden

13 April 2015

With a delay of ten minutes Paris-Roubaix 2015 took off on the 12th of April, 2015. A delay of ten minutes. Okay, but why? More viewers later in the afternoon? Was there another sport on the television first? Or was there a change in the time table of the trains? The last question is the one that went through my head immediately. My brain slowly activated and took me back to a situation in Paris-Roubaix in 2006.

Tom Boonen, Juan Antonio Flecha and Alessandro Ballan were standing behind the barriers, waiting for the train to pass. According to Belgian commentator Michel Wuyts the riders were ahead of schedule and rode too fast that day. The organisation didn’t think they would be that fast and thought that no trains could interfere with the race. Still, this happened. Those three had to stop, because the train was already passing. But just a few seconds earlier three others riders ignored the red signs and the falling barriers. Peter van Petegem, Vladimir Gusev and Leif Hoste, as you can see here.

Fabian Cancellara won that day. He never saw a train, he never knew about the whole incident. He came solo over the finish and he deserved to win. But the number 2nd, 3rd and 4th got disqualified. Never disobey the rules of the UCI. It’s on page 33 of the Road Regulations for Road Races: “It shall be strictly forbidden to cross level crossings when the barrier is down. Apart from risking the penalty for such an offence as provided by law, offending riders shall be eliminated from the competition by the commissaires.”

So what’s exactly my point here? Well, in the edition of 2015 some riders did exactly the same as van Petegem, Gusev and Hoste. They crossed level crossings while the barriers were going down. The only difference with 2006 is that not three riders, but half of the peloton did it. A TGV was on its way and a whole bunch of riders still took the risk of going over the level crossing. Dangerous and not necessary at all, because after this incident the peloton regrouped. No one got disqualified, because “everyone did it”.

And because everyone did it, it was allowed. Rules were ignored, eyes were looking the other way, no comments from the UCI. So John Degenkolb is the winner of Paris-Roubaix. Did he also cross the level cross when the barriers were falling down? Yes, he did! So technically, the actual winner of Paris-Roubaix stands between one of these riders below? Geraint Thomas could have won after all? Maybe. Maybe not. We will never know.

Lionel Bonaventure

Paris-Roubaix 2015 – © Lionel Bonaventure

Ignoring the rules can sometimes be a good decision. We would have never had such a great final as the one we had this year. Still, if you decide to take up such a rule in your regulations, you should stick to it and follow it at all times. No exceptions. Although John Degenkolb is a really nice exception. You won’t hear me complain about this year’s winner of Paris-Roubaix.


For many years now, I have watched cycling and something has caught
my attention: the beard. As we all know, it is common for a cyclist to shave.
They shave their face, their legs, their arms, well, what don’t they shave?
But let’s focus on the face for now. The peloton is not ‘clean-shaven’ anymore
at this point. A lot of riders don’t shave their beard anymore. I don’t know
which rider started it, but it is really contagious!

In order to explain why the beard is getting so popular, we have to dig deeper.
So what is a beard again? The definition of a beard is a collection of hair that grows on the upper lip, chin, cheeks and neck. Genetics determine if the beard grows fast or (very) slow. This is probably the reason why not every man grows
a beard. For some men, it takes weeks to grow a beard, and for the lucky ones
it only takes a few days.

The beard is not only trending in the cycling world. When I go to my work or just take a walk through a nice city, I see plenty of men with beards and some are more attractive than others. This wasn’t the case in my childhood.
So, what are the facts about beards? After the seventies and eighties, the beard kind of lost its popularity. But over the past few years, the beard has returned.

In 2013, The Guardian posted an article about the popularity of beards,
quoting that “beards are more popular than ever… there’s a beard culture – people like talking about their beards, feeling their beards”.
In the same article they mention that the beard could possibly be a reaction to women’s growing economic power and a way of showing one’s masculinity. Nevertheless, it also says that “the beards are here to stay. You get used to it,
it becomes part of your identity.”

Wait, when I project this on the cycling world, the conclusion should be that women’s cycling is getting more popular and that the answer of the cycling men
is growing their beards? As a reaction? It’s a thought to think about,
but I don’t believe it. I just think that riders are sensitive to trends. They are on social media, they follow the latest news and see the latest fashion.
And right now, the beard is the latest fashion.

So I collected the ‘beards’ of the peloton. In total, there are over 60 men
in the peloton with a beard. But most of them don’t get to the level beard.
Their beards are more a collection of stubbles. Only a total of twenty riders
can call themselves real ‘beardmen’. You can view the twelve best of them
in this articcle. I’m not going to pick the best beard (or the worst) out of those, because I don’t see the point of doing that. Just pick your own.
Please, take a look at the brave, beardy men:

One more tip for all the Marcel Kittels out there without a beard.
Here’s an infographic about beards. Whenever you change your mind
after reading this, it might help you. Good luck with growing that beard!

Uptown Funk

Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
(Orica-GreenEDGE version – OGEfunk)

“I’m too hot (hot damn)
Called a police and a fireman
I’m too hot (hot damn)
Make a dragon wanna retire man

South Africa | | Training Camp 2015