Olympia’s Tour 2013 / 13 May / Prologue Katwijk
The Olympia’s Tour is a Dutch cycling stage race and was founded in 1909 by cycling club A.S.C. Olympia from Amsterdam. Since 1955 it has been an annual event and nowadays it is part of the UCI Europe Tour. Many previous winners of the race have become succesful professional riders. Among them are Servais Knaven, Lars Boom and Taylor Phinney. This year’s 61st edition of the race started with a prologue in Katwijk, a place in the west of The Netherlands.
Seventeen teams came to Katwijk to ride the famous Royal Smilde Olympia’s Tour. Besides ten Dutch teams, the organisation invited the national teams from Australia and New Zealand for riders under 23 to race in Holland. These teams consist of the most talented young riders of the two most famous countries from Oceania. The other five teams in the race are Team 3M from Belgium, J. Jensen – Ramirent and Concordia Forsikring – Riwal from Denmark, Ked – Stevens Rad-Team Berlin from Germany and the Oneco Cycling Team from Norway. In the photo above, Damien Howson (AUS) and Jasper Bovenhuis (RB3) are preparing themselves for the start of the prologue.
The course of the prologue was 3,2 kilometres long and it took place on the boulevard in Katwijk, which is next to the North Sea. There was a lot of wind and it was pretty cold, but luckily there was no rain. However, in the middle of the race, the prologue had to be put on hold for half an hour because the course was not safe enough. This meant that the remaining riders had to wait half an hour longer before they could start. In the photo above, the jury is occupied with checking all the bikes of the riders before they are allowed to start.
The winner of the prologue was Coen Vermeltfoort from Cycling Team De Rijke – Shanks, who finished in 3.56 minutes. Damien Howson and Mitchell Mulhern (AUS) became second and third. In fact, seven talented Australians ended up in the top ten at the end of the day. Vermeltfoort (RIJ) got to wear the white leader’s jersey and the green jersey and Howson (AUS) the blue jersey.