Dutch Road Championships 2013 / 23 June / Elite Men
The Dutch Road Championship for men started at half past ten on Sunday the 23rd of June. The riders had to face 228,8 kilometres, which meant that they had to ride 22 laps on the course in and around Kerkrade, a town in the south of The Netherlands. The course consisted of several climbs, including the “Duivels Bosch” (English: Devilish Bush). Only 24 riders reached the finish.
Lieuwe Westra (VCD), who was the fastest in the Dutch time trial championship for the second year in a row, attacked in the first part of the race. Dion Beukeboom (RIJ) was one of the riders who joined him. Also Jasper Hamelink (CJP) and Dennis Smit (MET) were part of the leading bunch, but none of these riders were able to stay away until the finish.
When it started to rain, the race became more difficult for the riders. Many of them decided to quit the race. Also Robert Gesink (BLA), who crashed in the first metres of the race and bruised his rib. Luckily it was dry again in the finale. By then, Bram Tankink (BLA), Sebastian Langeveld (OGE) and Johnny Hoogerland (VCD) had formed a head bunch. A small peloton followed them and among them were riders from various teams, including Tom Dumoulin (ARG), Lars Boom (BLA), Niki Terpstra (OPQ) and Michel Kreder (GRS).
Johnny Hoogerland (VCD) was able to leave the other riders behind him in Kerkrade and crossed the finish line solo. He became the new Dutch champion and got to wear the red-white-blue jersey, which he could show off at the Tour de France in the following weeks. Tom Dumoulin (ARG) showed his true potential for the future in the final lap. He is a talented time trialist and was able to secure the second place with a great solo. Sebastian Langeveld (OGE) was the third rider who crossed the finish line and Pim Ligthart (VCD) was the best of the rest.