Before the start of the Dutch Road Championship for Elite Men, almost everyone expected the race to end in a bunch sprint. So therefore it was no surprise that the NOS (a Dutch public broadcaster) interviewed Moreno Hofland (TLJ). The sprinter was one of the favourites for the victory in Emmen. However, when the race of 253 kilometres long started, a head bunch formed during the two parts through Drenthe and managed to create a big gap.
The ten final local laps through Emmen included the new tunnel, which recently opened for vehicles and will also be included in the criterium the Gouden Pijl in Emmen. During the final laps, the peloton chased the head bunch, but only managed to get them back in the finale. But because of a crash in the final metres, the finale was distorted and Moreno Hofland (TLJ) lost his position and became 5th. Dylan Groenewegen (ROP) was the best ProContintental rider of the day and became 4th. The jury did have to look at the finish photo, because there was hardly a difference between the number three and four.
The local lap through Emmen also included a part through the beautiful green nature the province of Drenthe has to offer. As you can see in the photo above, the riders did not only ride through the city, but also on the countryside. In the final kilometres, Niki Terpstra (EQS) showed that the Dutch Road Championship is a hard race and that this means that not necessarily a sprinter wins a bunch sprint in the finale. It was Niki who managed to beat Ramon Sinkeldam (TGA) and Danny van Poppel (TFR), who became second and third.
It was the 3rd national title for Niki Terpstra and he was very happy with his red-white-blue jersey. His son Luca even joined him on the podium after the official ceremony. Ramon Sinkeldam (TGA) was very disappointed with his second place. When you’re that close to a national title, you don’t settle for second. The race in Emmen was the unique opportunity for the rider to win, but Niki was simply too strong in the end and got to put three fingers up in the air at the end of the day.