Dutch Road Championships 2017 / 25 June / Elite Men
The Dutch National Road Championships took place in Montferland this year, an area in the east of the Netherlands, and the start and finish were in ‘s-Heerenberg. Quickly after the start, a head bunch was formed with the following riders: Robert Gesink, Bert-Jan Lindeman, Koen Bouwman (TLJ), Jetse Bol (MZN), Berden de Vries, Tim Ariesen, Martijn Budding (RNL), Albert Timmer, Tom Stamsnijder (SUN), Peter Koning (ABS), René Hooghiemster, Robbert de Greef (BDC), Boy van Poppel (TFS), Joey van Rhee (DJP), Stan Godrie (VWC), Roy Eefting (VCT), Lars van der Haar (TFL), Jasper Hamelink (MET), Maarten de Jonge (MCT) and Ike Groen (DCR).
The race was 231 kilometres long and took place on a circuit of 16,6 kilometres. After the start in ‘s-Heerenberg the riders went up north to Zeddam, then to Beek in the west and finally to Stokkum in the south, before heading back to ‘s-Heerenberg. The head bunch was very strong, but couldn’t stay away until the end. There were quite a few attacks from riders towards the end, but no one was able to stay away. From then on it was clear that the race would end in a sprint. Dylan Groenewegen (TLJ) – last year’s champion – wasn’t able to beat Wouter Wippert (CDT) and Ramon Sinkeldam (SUN). But who was the winner? Wippert thought that he’d won, but the jury saw it on tv: Sinkeldam was a bit faster.
Tom Dumoulin, the winner of the 2017 edition of the Giro d’Italia, had already prolonged his national time trial title on the wednesday before the road race. But he was also very happy after finishing the road race, because winner Ramon Sinkeldam is his teammate – they both ride for the German WorldTour Team Sunweb. Pieter Weening smiled along, because his team Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij also performed well during the day. Coen Vermeltfoort almost reached the podium – he became 4th behind Dylan Groenewegen (TLJ).
They were so close, but the red-white-blue jersey was for Ramon Sinkeldam. But Wouter Wippert and Dylan Groenewegen could still smile, because together with the new national champion they showed once again that they are the best sprinters of the Netherlands and that they belong to the sprint top of the world. Ramon Sinkeldam and Dylan Groenewegen will be present in the Tour de France this year, so the Dutch national colours can be spotted in the Tour peloton again.