The Track World Cup in Manchester, which took place from 10 to 12 November, showed that the Dutch track cycling team might triumph during the next Track Worlds in Apeldoorn. Especially the sprinters Harrie Lavreysen (individual sprint) and Matthijs Büchli (keirin) scored several podium spots.
Dutch riders won the two main sprint events of the weekend. There was no one who could beat Lavreysen. “For the first time I felt that I rode several faultless heats. That gives me a good feeling and boosts my confidence. I want to continue sprinting at this level in my build up to Apeldoorn because I learn a lot.” Matthijs Büchli convincingly repeated his winning keirin performance of Pruszkow. Despite the fact he crashed heavily the day before during the sprint semi-finals, he ‘just’ took gold for the BEAT Cycling Club. This surprised Büchli as well. “I didn’t have much confidence this morning. Therefore I wanted to use that first heat as a test. In the end the tournament went really well and really fast. When my form is good, a crash like this apparently doesn’t really bother me.” The men’s team sprint team of the BEAT Cycling Club and the Dutch national team already picked up silver and bronze on the opening day of the three day event in Manchester. The men in orange qualified the fastest of all teams. Theo Bos just finished outside of the medals on the kilo.
Women successful as well
The team sprint and the 500m time trial didn’t result in any medals for the women. During the keirin event, Laurine van Riessen (Matrix Pro Cycling) and Shanne Braspennincx (KNWU) however did compete for the podium. Kristina Vogel was unbeatable again but Braspennincx rode to silver. In the background Laurine van Riessen barely avoided a crash and picked up the bronze medal. In the individual sprint event Laurine van Riessen took part in the final where she won a silver medal. Braspennincx just missed out on bronze. Elis Ligtlee was back on the boards 15 months after her golden race in Rio de Janeiro. She was happy with a seventh time in the qualifying round but her tournament ended in the 16th finals. “I was very happy with my qualifying time of 11 seconds. This is something to build upon for the future. I know I will have to work really hard in the next months but I really want to be there in Apeldoorn during the Worlds.” Bill Huck, the Dutch team coach, said that names don’t count. He looks at the times and the results. “We have a very strong team all around with regards to the Worlds in Apeldoorn. In the end the riders with the best times and World Cup results will represent the Netherlands. There is a lot of competition within the team but that is a good thing for the level of the riders.”
Wim Stroetinga took home a bronze medal in the scratch event. The rider from Nijkerk returned to the highest level of racing after his heavy crash at the European Championships in Berlin. Kirsten Wild, a medal contender in several endurance events, was not riding in Manchester. She will of course be part of the Worlds in Apeldoorn next year.
If you want to be part of the Dutch battle for the medals in the sprint events during the World Championships, order your tickets now. The stands are filling up rapidly.
photo: Tim de Boer