Ronde van Overijssel 2016 / 14 May / Rijssen
The day of the 64th edition of the Ronde van Overijssel started with the traditional team presentation. This year it was a very special, emotional presentation, because of the recent and sudden death of Cyclingteam Jo Piels rider Gijs Verdick. He was only 21 years old and to honour him, his teammates and former teammates form Sensa – Kanjers voor Kanjers CT wore a mourning-band with his name on it. Gijs’ parents and sisters were present at the start and there was an impressive minute of silence before the riders 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.
Quite a few riders tried to stay away during the race, but Gert-Jan Bosman (CJP), Wouter Mol (RIJ), Taco van der Hoorn (RIJ), Maarten van Trijp (MET) and Cees Bol (RDT) were able to reach the local circuit in Rijssen. However, they could not make it until the end. It was the Lithuanian sprinter Aidis Kruopis, who has been a rider for Orice-GreenEDGE at the WorldTour level for three years and now rides for the Verandas Willems Cycling Team, who won the sprint.
In Bornerbroek, this year’s town of the Ronde, Jelle Wolsink (CJP) won the sprint and at the end of the race, the jury also decided that he was the most combative rider of the day. It was very special for Cyclingteam Jo Piels that one of its riders ended up on the podium, because they were riding for Gijs Verdick and with Gijs on their minds the whole day. To win a prize is a beautiful tribute.
Joeri Stallaert (CIB) became second and Timothy Stevens (CRV) was the third rider who crossed the finish line in Rijssen. Both riders come from Belgium and with the Lithuanian rider Aidis Kruopis (WIL) as winner, the podium in Holland was completely foreign. This actually was a historical moment, because in the past there was at least always one Dutch rider who ended up on the podium of the race through the east of the Dutch country.