Nacht van Hengelo 2014 / 6 June / Hengelo
Niki Terpstra (OPQ) was the first rider who received an invitation for the 39th edition of the criterium Nacht van Hengelo. After he had won Paris-Roubaix in April of this year, the organization wanted him to start in Hengelo and entertain the public. Well, Terpstra is a born entertainer. For instance, we watched him paraphrase the lyrics of a song by Dutch musicians Henny Vrienten and Herman Brood in an interview with Sporza just after he had won the Belgian classic Dwars Door Vlaanderen. So it was no surprise that he attacked in Hengelo and managed to chase down the peloton in the first half of the race.
Wilco Kelderman (BEL), Tom-Jelte Slagter (GRS), Tom Stamsnijder (GIA) and Bert-Jan Lindeman (RDT) did not just give up and pulled off the same thing only a little while later. It was clear: five riders would fight for the victory that evening. Tom Veelers (GIA) became 6th and stayed in front of the rest of the field, including Raymond Kreder (GRS), Wouter Wippert (DPC) and Bobbie Traksel. A lot of talented riders were present as well, such as Maurits Lammertink (CJP), Simon Schram (RIJ) and local rider Jelle Wolsink (MET).
Besides that, it has become a tradition that the podium and most combative rider of the Ronde van de Vijver also receive an invitation for the Nacht van Hengelo. The Ronde van de Vijver is an elite cycling race that was held earlier on this year. Nick Kweldam was the winner of the 2014 edition of that race and he rides for the Kanjers voor Kanjers Cyclingteam. His teammate Gijs Verdick had won the elite version of the Nacht van Hengelo earlier on in the evening. Gijs Strating (NWVG), the number two of the Ronde van de Vijver, and Coen Bosch (DRV), the most combative rider, were also present at the Nacht van Hengelo.
As soon as it got darker, Niki Terpstra turned on the tail light on his bike. All the other riders knew who they had to keep an eye on: Terpstra was clearly on a roll. Wilco Kelderman (BEL) was able to stay with Terpstra until the very end, but it was Terpstra who won the sprint-à-deux. More info on cycling criteriums can be found here or you can visit the criterium website www.nachtvanhengelo.nl.